Two incidents took place some time ago that disturbed me tremendously, and from the look of it, they are not one-off incidents. In the first instance, I was standing in line waiting to cash some stuff I picked up at the supermarket.
One of the supervisors stopped one of the guys on the floor and said to him, in full view of everyone in the waiting area. “How could you forget the stuff I ask you for, you don’t use your brain” now I felt pretty awful for the guy because the tone the lady use was disgusting and anyone looking on could see the embarrassed look on his face.
The following day I stopped to buy some lunch for my babysitter, and while waiting, I notice the young lady at the counter; I have this habit of observing my surroundings, especially when it comes to watching people and their interaction with other people. The young lady at the counter said to the manager, “excuse me I need to go for lunch I have been waiting for a long time,” the manager shouted. “well go”; shouted! I was utterly shocked, and I ask myself how in heaven’s name can someone with that type of attitude become responsible for people.
It was disconcerting, especially for someone who believes in employees well being, inspiration, motivation, emotional intelligence, building people’s confidence, etc. One can deduce that these people are not being mentored to lead and are not given the necessary training to lead and have absolutely no people skills. But do you know what is even more disturbing, many people believe this type of behavior is normal. Normal for their manager to verbally abuse them, normal to work in an environment of distrust and deceit, normal to engage in gossip about their fellow coworkers or normal for their manager to participate in this type of nonsensical behavior while seeking self-preservation at the expenses of everything and everyone.
This is not normal.
Many of these managers expect and, in many instances, demand explicit respect from their direct reports as if it is some form of entitlement. Great leaders don’t demand respect; they don’t have, too; people will naturally follow them because of their leadership skills and their ability to inspire and motivate people.
If a manager has no respect for their team, how can you expect any respect in return? They will follow their instructions because of their position on the org chart, but they will not support them voluntarily, and all trust will be lost. When all trust is broken down, a company will never function at an optimum level. As a result, that company will experience a high level of employee turnover, and be average at best.
All Companies should invest in the development of their people. Leadership training should be mandatory for everyone, not the executive or middle management or the people favored in the company; everyone! When faced with insurmountable challenges, many of us would throw in the towel, feel rejected and defeated, but this is where leaders rise above the pack, find some way to keep going, and inspire their team to believe that the impossible is possible.
This is fundamentally why great leaders don’t demand respect; they lead by example and earn their respect every day. If you want your company to be world-class, lead by example, treat all your people with respect, and invest in leadership development for all your people. You will witness a significant turnaround in people’s attitudes towards their work, and this will be ultimately be reflected in the company bottom-line.
About Gifford Thomas
I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 200,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love.
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