3 Ways to be Liked and Respected

Smart people give their best even when leadership sucks. But it’s easier when leaders are liked and respected.

Incompetent leaders can be liked, but ineffective. You can respect someone but doubt their ability to lead.

People prefer to say yes to those that they like. Image of a friendly horse.


There’s more to results than being liked and respected.

Results are impacted by:

  1. Employee competence.
  2. Processes.
  3. Leadership style.
  4. Team dynamics.
  5. Regulations.
  6. Organizational culture.
  7. Political and social events.
  8. Efficiency.
  9. Market conditions.
  10. Quality and service.

3 ways to be liked and respected:

It’s easier to give your best to someone you like and respect.

#1. Pursue leadership excellence like a fanatic.

Worry more about becoming a remarkable leader than being liked and respected.

  1. Tell people what’s important.
  2. Don’t try to please everyone.
  3. Bring up tough issues with forward-facing optimism.
  4. Show people you care about results and relationships.
  5. Stay on target. A leader who chases three rabbits at the same time comes home with apples for dinner.
  6. Learn like a sponge. Know-it-all leaders are losers. The difference between arrogance and humility is consistent learning and growth.
  7. Challenge people to bring their best and support them along the way.
Self-respect isn't found lounging in a hammock. It comes to those who do hard things. Image of a hammock.

#2. Help people respect themselves.

Expect people to bring their best. Rushing to help is a subtle form of disrespect that suggests people are incompetent.

No one likes a leader who suggests everyone is incompetent.

Make room for responsible failure. Imagine little Mary struggling to tie her shoe. When you rush to help, she resists. “I’ll do it myself.” Your help is respected after she knows it’s hard to tie shoes.

People like leaders who help them feel good about themselves. Coddling isn’t the answer.

#3. Like people.

People are likely to like leaders who like them.

Make a list of things you like about the people on your team. Keep it in mind. Review it when you’re frustrated.

How can leaders be liked and respected?

Still curious:

How to be the Leader People Love to See

How to be a Leader People Like – Without being Needy

Being Liked vs. Being Respected