Perceptions – and management behaviours

A few posts ago I wrote about not judging books by their covers, and today I’m thinking again about the same sort of thing – but this time in the workplace.

As managers it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate those leadership and managerial qualities that we wish to develop and engender in those around us, but how many times have we all seen others act in a way which they would not tolerate from their reports?  This shows a lack of respect in one direction, and a creates loss of it in the other.

The hit comedy “Yes, Minister” made fun of this type of double standards behaviour by referring to it as an irregular verb, for example:

  1. I have an independent mind; you are an eccentric; he is round the twist.
  2. I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he’s being charged under section 2A of the Official Secrets Act.

Whilst this is in the context of a television sitcom, it shouldn’t detract from the important characteristic being lampooned, and one of the aphorisms we all learned as children: “do to others as you would be done by”. 

Not everyone is born as a natural leader, and some only have people follow them out of a sense of morbid curiosity.  Leadership can be learned and encouraged, and people will want to follow a leader who has their respect – this time neither a carrot nor a stick are required!

So my question to ponder for the day is: what positive behaviour trait do you most admire from your leaders, and how can you emulate that to achieve similar respect?