Managers earn respect; it doesn’t come with title

How many times have you heard a manager tell someone they have to do something because, “I’m the Manager.”?

I learned early in my management career as a young Marine that you can give an order and the troops will carry it out but when they respect you and understand why the order was given, it’s done with a whole lot more enthusiasm and quality.

A nice title gives you nothing more than to say you have a responsibility for something. Employees, especially bright technical employees, don’t just do what you ask because you are the “manager”. They take their cues and make their moves based upon how their leader motivates them and whether they have confidence in him or her.

Little things like showing respect for people, taking the “hit” when the organization or someone in it fails, stepping up to a difficult employee situation, and giving the team and individual staff members credit for successes are all subtle things that leaders do. It’s what makes people want to follow and go the extra mile for you.

Managers lead by example ever day of the week. Never forget that eyes are watching you to determine how they should react to situations and they are learning from you all the time, , , even when you don’t expect it.

I had a former employee share something with me many years after he had worked for me. There was an event to do with something I did in a staff meeting that I couldn’t even recall, but it had a profound impact on him and became something that he incorporated into his own management style years later.

They are watching, learning, and replicating your actions and behavior into their own approaches. Managers earn respect by action and successes, not words or foolish things called titles.

You owe it to every member of your staff to set the right tone and example in work ethic, treatment of others, and teamwork. It will repay you many times over.

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