People rally around leaders that are grounded, growing and good. There are a few exceptions but the vast majority win over people by exhibiting all three of these attributes.
A real leader doesn’t need to show off. They are grounded and approachable like normal people. The ones who flaunt their position or use it to control others, usually don’t last long. Again, there are exceptions, and I can name a few in the tech world, but the vast majority of companies, sales organizations and even churches want a leader that shares their values and is given respect because they earned it, not because they required it.
I have shared this story in the past but the guy I looked up to was named Harmon Born. He passed away a couple years ago, but his example still rings clear to me. He owned several cars dealerships including Ford and Lincoln. At one time his Ford dealership was the highest volume Ford dealer in the nation. He started in 1946 as a billing clerk at Beaudry Ford. He progressed to salesman, sales manager, general manager, president and finally president and owner in 1966.
One day he was driving me home after church in a Crown Victoria Ford which was the only car I ever saw him drive. I ask him why he didn’t drive a Lincoln since he owned a Lincoln dealership as well. He said, “I just have just never felt comfortable in a luxury car. It’s not who I am.”
Things like that make you respect a person and there are countless examples of men and women that showed who they really were by how they live their life and treat other people.
If you really want to be a respected leader, learn early on that it is earned and that people watch you to see if they can trust you with their respect. KT