Yesterday’s post got me thinking more about this issue of respect. Why is it that some people respect charisma and yet others respect intellectual gravitas? I suppose that if you’re a street level drug dealer you might respect a drug kingpin. We don’t all respect the same people.
I think it comes down to the idea that we respect what we value. If we value fame, we respect people who are famous. If we value money, we respect people who are wealthy. If we value hard work, we respect hard workers. If however we value hard work, we won’t necessarily respect someone who is famous unless they got there with hard work.
The old adage exists that you must earn respect but if we only respect what we value, then it is probably worthless to try to earn the respect of someone who has fundamentally different values.
If you’re a leader then you better make sure that the people with whom you work share the same values as you or you’ll probably never earn their respect.
If you’re building an organization you’ll need to pay attention to values if you want to build a culture of respect.