Posted: Friday, July 21st, 2023

Leadership isn’t a title or a rank. It isn’t badge of honour you can put on and off whenever the mood or audience changes. Leadership is the way you show up every day. It is reflected in the values you espouse, the actions you take and ultimately the way you treat yourself and the people who report to you every day.

Having worked in the leadership development business across many sectors, over many years, the one constant that keeps repeating itself among the leaders who inspire, is their focus on the 3 Rs. They respect themselves, respect others and take total responsibility for their actions….

Respect yourself……

Leaders respect themselves. This isn’t some self-conceited idea but a key pillar in the success of any leader. Unless you respect yourself, don’t expect your colleagues to respect you. Every person, regardless of the role they fill, should practice self-respect. This starts with the self-talk which is the most important voice you hear each day. The messages you feed into you subconscious effects every part of your being and are reflected in the actions you take every day. With the average person feeding their subconscious with over a thousand negative thoughts every day, the challenge is obvious. So before you can develop the self-respect you may need to change the self-talk.


Respect others…..

Leaders respect others. They realise that how you treat people, but more importantly, how you make them feel, is the benchmark people will use to measure you as a leader. Respecting others includes building relationships, showing humility, practicing gratitude and empathy, being honest and showing belief and tolerance in others. Developing these “soft” skills doesn’t make you a “soft” leader. Rather it underpins the technical competencies you probably already possess. Ironically, for many, the “soft” skills are often more difficult to acquire than the technical skills. However the investment in developing your tool kit of “soft skills” pays off in low turnover rates, higher performing staff and a culture of mutual respect.

Remember, people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers.


Responsibility for your actions….

Your actions on a day-to-day basis, regardless of your role, define you. Leaders don’t know it all. They are human. They make mistakes and often fall short of their own standards. When they do, they hold up their hands and accept responsibility. Further they encourage team members to take responsibility when things go wrong. They support these team members at such times and encourage them to learn from any mistakes. With mistakes we learn what doesn’t work. We move on.

Character has been defined as “doing what you should be doing when nobody is looking”. Inspiring leaders practice good character. They realise that if they want to achieve their goals they must take responsibilities for their actions. Without actions nothing happens. It’s up to them.


While the 3Rs of leadership are simple to explain, the reality is they are not so easy to apply.  Changing embedded habits, developing a new set of skills and renewing your own self-discipline takes time. However inspiring leaders make this time and adapt the Kaizen approach to change. They relentlessly work on the small improvements that will take them and their teams to the next level. They respect themselves, they respect their people and they practice mutual responsibility.

So, what will you do?

Review your own challenges as a leader and identify the area(s) that need development. Set some goals to develop any areas you think are holding you or your team from performing to your optimum. Do it now.

If you’re challenged with your own personal leadership or with leading a team of people and would like to discuss your challenges why don’t you set up and call and we can discuss your challenges and your options.