You want respect? Start by giving it

Posted on October 11, 2016 in: Articles


Of course you want respect. Everybody does. And every organization does better as its participants learn to respect one another more.

Leaders, especially, need to show respect if they want to get it. And it is important – not just to the leaders but to their organizations as well – that they are respected. It’s the basis for the trust needed for the organization to thrive.

Leaders not only need to respect the people with whom they’re working, they also need to respect the work they are doing.

That doesn’t mean we have to accept how well they are doing that work. It may very well be they could be doing it better. (Couldn’t we all?) But we do need to be able to appreciate the fact that others’ work is important to the organization, no matter where they are positioned on the organizational chart.

Terry St. Marie offers four ways in which CEOs can show clear and concrete respect for the work of others in our organizations:

  • Care enough to know their jobs, at least in a general way, and especially become familiar with the demands of their work.
  • Do as many of those jobs as you can, not so you can show off your expertise but so your appreciation for the work is heartfelt.
  • Express your respect for the importance of others’ jobs in the overall health of the organization.
  • Do everything gracefully, which is to say do it with kindness and gratitude.


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