You Cannot DEMAND That I Respect You



This morning a former participant from our leadership programme had tagged me in a question he had. He was eager to find out if not respecting a senior employee in the office is an act of insubordination. He was puzzled as he defined respect as something that is earned and not something that is demanded from the title of your position.


His question was a pretty provocative one about authority, leadership and people management. In the corporate world, if there are two individuals that do not respect each other's talents and skills, there would not be a strong relationship between them. It would not be able to withstand conflicts and any differing stances as the two parties would take it as a moment to assert their dominance.


According to Stanford professor James Adam,

"an organisation/leader is often at a dilemma of choosing between High Control approach or High Creativity. The first creates efficiency; even though it can be ineffective strategies, and the second creates innovation; even though it may not be what the market needs"


So a leader who is leaning to high control is most likely to use terms such as 'insubordination'. He is not comfortable with the lack of control he has over the situation. Whereas, leaders who adopt the high creativity approach would be more receptive to the opinions of their team members.


In any circumstance, team members are not to succumb to pressures to conform.


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