The Amazing Power of Being Valued by Others and the Path to Get There

Don’t scoff when people talk about feelings. Respect – being valued by others – is a feeling. 

Feelings of respect bring respectful behaviors to life.

People don’t respect leaders simply because there’s a title on the door. Titles are a beginning, but respect is earned.


  1. Disrespect contaminates environments and pollutes relationships.
  2. The opposite of respect is dysfunctional teams, weak relationships, and poor performance.
  3. Respect makes difficult work easier, turbulence less disruptive, and achievements more rewarding.
  4. Respect is earned slowly and lost easily.

Show it:

Show respect if you hope to earn respect.

Move first. Be first to show respect, not to demand it.

Leaders that demand respect have already lost it.

12 ways to earn respect:

  1. Hold yourself accountable. The more authority you have, the less likely people will hold you accountable – to your face.
  2. Course-correct publicly when you screw up in front of others.
  3. Explore the impact of your presence on others. Pay attention to how you show up. Learn to adapt without losing yourself.
  4. Explore constructive dissent. Don’t take it personally. Honor those who work to make things better, even if they disagree with you.
  5. Listen closely.
  6. Identify with another’s distress. Don’t simply say, “It’s going to be OK.” Acknowledge that the issue is important. People feel disrespected when you belittle their concerns or distress.
  7. Don’t quickly tell people how to solve their problems. Be concerned and available, but don’t belittle their struggle by offering off-handed solutions.
  8. Honor strengths and successes. Don’t ignore the bad, just notice the good more frequently. Respect is earned when you honor another’s strengths, rather than flaunting your own.
  9. Honor the work of others, even if results disappoint.
  10. Practice social courtesies. Ask how people are doing.
  11. Focus on issues, not personalities, when tensions rise.
  12. Grab an oar. Sweat a little. Avoid making exemptions for yourself.

How might leaders earn respect?