Leadership: Trust and Respect

By October 17, 2012My Journey

Leadership – What does it mean to you?  Are you a leader in your household or in your workplace or business or wherever? Does your mood impact that of those around you?  As a woman, we carry a wide range of emotions a lot of the time and as leaders in our homes and in our workplaces, our moods can impact on those around us.  Do you realise this though?  Do you know that you are a leader, even if you have no such title? 

This used to be battered into my head when I attended a certain church, full of disillusioned people who felt the world had dealt them a bad hand.  It was timely and I repeated and repeated it to myself ‘I am a leader, I am a leader’ as I knew there had to be more to me than I felt at times.

Today, I got thinking about leadership as I listened to John Maxwell – a well known American Speaker who deals specifically with leaders usually in the workplace.  He had a series on ‘[amazon_link id=”0785289356″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Maximised Leadership[/amazon_link]’.   I remember purchasing this item, full of 30 CDs when I visited Australia in 2005.  It was the most expensive training item I had ever bought at that point and I was determined to make sure it changed my life.  Well, 7 years later, I am still picking nuggets of information out of it so, it was well worth the money spent.

Towards the beginning of this particular CD which deals with the communication and leadership, John Maxwell mentions that trust and respect are not given but they are earnt.  What do you think?

Trust and Respect and Leadership

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”
― George MacDonald

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners”
― Laurence Sterne

Do you think respect, in particular, should be earnt or are trust and respect something you deserve as a result of age?

I come from Africa and you are expected to automatically respect people regardless of credibility, just because they are older than you.  Old habits die hard, they say and it is certainly true in my case as now I refuse to allow the girls to call people older than themselves by their first name.  They are all referred to as Uncle, Aunty, Grandma or Grandad.  As the girls grow up, then older people will become Mr/Mrs/Ms blah blah blah.  I consider this a sign of respect.

I still choke on addressing people older than myself by their first name.  It was a shock to the system when I arrived in the country in 1996 and went to college where students answered their teachers back and people old enough to be my grand parent were addressed by name – I just could not do it.  I could almost feel the ‘whack upside my head’ if I even thought of them by their first name.

However, I have also seen the other side of that, where people arrive from such countries and are accustomed to young people acting a certain way towards them, regardless of how they act.  They arrive in this country, attempt to go to work but are rudely awakened when young people tell them off for being less than the leaders they should be.  They balk at this young upstart speaking to them like that and find themselves unable to adjust to the system.

I personally believe I must live a life worthy of trust and respect.  I cannot expect it to be handed to me on a platter and why should it be? I also expect to respect others regardless of whether I would or would not trust them or their advice/opinions.  After all, everyone is worthy of respect, aren’t they?

What do you think? Should people earn respect and trust or should it be given regardless?  Would you consider yourself a leader worthy of both?

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