“Tell me about that picture of the next step for you, as a manager.” I was talking to Jeanine.
“I can’t. I can’t do it until I have the authority to do it.” She was struggling with her new position in the company. She was handed a project to help solve some communication issues between several teams inside the company. “I just don’t have their respect. If I had the title, it would just be easier.”
“Jeanine, I can’t give you the title. You have to earn the title. I cannot make people have respect for you, it has to be earned.”
“But, if I don’t have the authority, how can I get their respect?”
I paused. “Jeanine, it is really very simple. All you have to do is bring value to the problem solving and decision making of those around you. Stimulate their thinking, help them move to the next level, show them how they can solve their own problems.
“People will always seek out others in the organization that bring value to their thinking and their work. If their manager is not bringing value to the party, the team member will always seek out the person that is.
“If you want respect, forget the title. Bring value to the problem solving and decision making of those around you. You will earn it.”