Take two men of equal intelligence, training, economic stability & relational connection… One seems to have the Midas touch, quickly moves forward, relationally accelerates & has an experiential reality of peer/subordinate/superior respect, the other struggles with feeling stagnant, un-respected, disconnected and wars with trying to figure out “Why…?”.
What I’m addressing today should be a 101 understanding on respect & relationship but I cannot tell you how many people I have met who have absolutely no clue that how they interrelate with people is sabotaging public perception of them. I’ve seen this play out on different occasions in varying fields. As I pondered the question of “why…?” the song “What You Give” by Tesla jumped into my head…
It’s not whatcha got, it’s what you give.
It ain’t the life you choose, it’s the life you live.
Many of us would like to have what others have but are unwilling to invest what is necessary to experience their reality (for various reasons, some consciously chosen, some lived out indirectly because of our actions leading up to our experience).
Here are a few questions I would ask of any aspiring leader who is wants to be respected and may not feel they are receiving it right now:
- How willing or diligent have you been to show the same (or greater) level of respect to others that you would like to receive (not just toward other leaders, how about your spouse or the waitress at the restaurant)?
- Have you genuinely honored authority in the field that you would like to be a leader in?
- Is there an emotional or irrational response that others have come to expect from you if they disagree with you?
- Aside from showing others respect, have your daily actions been respectable? (Have you given people any additional reason(s)to not respect you?)
- Do you carry yourself as a victim?
- When you are honest with yourself, would you describe “you” (or would others describe you) as humble, prideful, arrogant, peaceful, combative, giving, domineering, happy, sad, honest, deceitful, understanding, manipulative, uplifting, condescending…Respectable? Ultimately, being totally honest with yourself, would you follow you…?
Remember, “Perception determines Reception”! How people perceive you is how they will often receive you. A leader with no followers is just taking a walk. I’ve been promoted to positions of authority and of course served under authority in nearly every work environment I’ve ever been in. Something I’ve learned from my experiences is that superiors rarely promote an insubordinate subordinate, and other subordinates will rarely follow a un-respectable leader.
You could be the most qualified prospect on paper and never see the promotion (in the workplace or in life) if what you give and live towards others is different than what you would like to receive from them.
Food for thought…