At least 75% of opportunities that come my way for executive and leadership coaching comes from leaders who are not fulfilling this basic tenet of human interaction.
I’ve coached business leaders who yelled at employees and customers, others who responded to employees with sarcasm and cynicism and others who ignored requests hoping they would be forgotten. These are no ways for a leader to gain a following that will allow them to achieve high levels of success.
With the recent surprise success of the New York Jets (disclaimer here – they’ve been my favorite football team for the last 45 years), the team ny jets helmetreaching the National Football League’s American Football Conference Championship Game, stories are coming out about their first year head coach Rex Ryan.
Prior to hiring Ryan, the Jets decision makers interviewed employees of all levels at his previous employer, the Baltimore Ravens. They wanted to learn about his personality and how he treated people in general. What they learned, and a key reason for him being at the top of their list for head coaches, was that Ryan treated everyone with respect in every situation (whether others were watching or not) and every step during his career (whether a young up-and-coming coach or the number-one most respected Defensive Coordinator in the entire league).
- How do you treat the people on your team?
- How do you treat those below you on the staff?
- How do you treat people when you are under deadline and stressed?
This may be the one area above all else that separates good leaders from great leaders. Acting in this manner will give you a following that will allow you to positively influence those at all levels, so that you can achieve great things through other people.
The key to being able to do this is based in your belief system. What you believe about other people determines how you will treat them.
- What do you believe about people in general?
- What do you believe about the people you need to influence the most?
The one belief to adopt that will allow you to remain humble and to always treat others with respect is to realize that everyone, and I mean everyone, is superior to you in some way at some thing.
It doesn’t matter if that “thing” is important to you or has a role in their position with the company. The fact that they have mastered something at a higher level than you have means they deserve your respect.
Respect is one of the four tenets of a Champion Organization. It is a fundamental part of the Champion Leadership Communication program called “Influencing Skills” – to learn more about it go here.