A Joy of Leadership case study from a leadership training program in California:
There is something that will make a huge impact on your success. It will not cost you time. It will not cost you money. It’s something that you must give. However, when you give it, you don’t give it away. Giving it leaves you with more. Do you know what it is?
Enormous strife had developed between the two founding partners of a technology company. They had launched the business together and now one partner wanted to sell because he decided the other partner didn’t respect him. He became so stuck about the dis-respect, he couldn’t do business with the other any longer. Their common goal had disappeared. At our
Team Lead Training in Management Training Program,
one partner was asked, “Why do you care if he respects you?” The partner replied, “He doesn’t show up at my presentations. I’m sales. He’s technical. Without him, it’s hard to close the sales.”
There was silence in the room. Finally, the other partner spoke: “I don’t respect him because he doesn’t close the sales.”
Disrespect is immediately perceived by other people. When we decide that someone is hopeless, we make it hard for him to change. When people feel respected, they feel safe. Feeling disrespected drains away their courage. They don’t work at optimum. They are not likely to speak up when problems arise. They’ll let things go, often until it’s too late. The two partners had once worked well together. Now they despised each other.
When we give our respect, it is usually reciprocal. It leads to mutual appreciation. It allows both sides to suspend judgment and keep an open mind. People do their best work when they feel respected. It makes them feel free to offer suggestions. Respect can be more important than money as a motivator. It can be more important than a title. In his short novel The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway said respect is more important than life.
Respected and connected are like getting and giving. They are one. Respect is something we must bestow, or the team won’t grow. Of course, sometimes unity is impossible and we have to let people go. But usually, you’ll find that when you cultivate a team that feels respected, they’ll also feel connected.
New ventures always involve chaos and smoothing out the friction. In our management training program and our servant leadership training, managers learn how to find common ground to avoid the contention that can imperil or downright doom an endeavor.
In the story above, after they attended our team leader training the two partners did not break up. They decided to persevere.