Being Liked And Respected And Building Leaders

Steven Lay (October 08, 2015)

Abstract Popularity Concept. Many Yellow Balls with One Red Ball in the Center.

Having spent a portion of my life in the Navy I have always been intrigued with leadership styles, skills and whether effective leadership can be acquired or whether it is an innate attribute. The fundamental discussion about leadership is: Would you rather be liked, respected or feared? Coincidentally, my interest is around wine tasting room experiences and team building in general.

Before the question is discussed and hopefully answered consider the following discussion points.

  • Are good leaders recognized differently within various industries? For example, would a person appreciated as being a good leader in one industry/company, let’s say a company that drills for oil, be a good leader in a software development company? Such considerations are not far fetched as businesses in America reach out for leaders in disparate industries. In this case we are not addressing business sectors but rather industries.
  • Culturally, are there different desired leadership criteria applied to women versus men? In a recent article that appears in Yahoo! News, there was a discussion around the special leadership skills of women that are leading companies and their successes. Not surprising, the author was commenting on Ms. Marissa Mayer who is the CEO of Yahoo. E-bay, HP, GM, and IBM, just to name a few others, have women heading up large companies with complex structures.
  • Do skill sets have a bearing on who is recognized as a great leader? For example, in industries where the majority of people possess creative skills (art, acting, and music for example), do they have a different standard for good leaders? The music industry would probably put a different set of values on leaders who understood the idiosyncrasies of creative people. Further, there are occasional reports on how various performers (in movies and on stage) are respected, but not liked and might go so far as to be hated. We have just touched upon the concept that leading personalities can be respected but not liked. And, some of those opinions may not be universally accepted within an industry.
  • It is obvious that not everyone in an organization will like a leader, no matter what he/she would or could do to ingratiate themselves with their team. These feelings can be rooted in a person’s values, culture, age, work history and the list can go infinitum. Leaders that chase the “wan ‘a-be liked by everyone” theorem will find it to be self destructive; it will never happen.
  • As roles within a team change, expect opinions relative to a person’s likability and respect quotient will change. The interpersonal dynamics within an organization are always different when viewed as-employer by employee, and conversely, employee by employer.
  • The effort expended within an organization to be liked and respected, can those attributes translate into improvements in the sales effort? Ask in another way: Are sales people more successful by being liked or respected.
  • Is charisma part of the leader’s skill set? Charisma does not seem to be as universally accepted or recognized as being liked and respected. It can be a fine line between that and arrogance and disrespect. Mostly, it is a personality trait that can be tenable.
  • Can a majority on a team that respects and/or likes their leader influence a minority group in a team who hold their leader in less regards. Intimidation can be the glue that binds in negating opinions of the minority.

Back to the question-as a leader of a team/organization, would you rather be liked, respected or feared? As discussed earlier, let’s discount the use of fear as a leadership tool because once it is used by a leader it is akin to un-ringing a bell. Fear as a leadership style is not a foundation a successful company is built upon by good leaders.

Being left with likability and respect, based upon military and corporate experiences, I would say good leaders have both skills. The percentage mix between the two will change based upon economic environment, industry, changes in objectives and strategies, workforce changes and the function the leader is in charge of (sales, manufacturing, operations, finance, etc.). This being said, there are still some fundamental rules that apply to being liked and respect and both are acquired/required skills.

As a leader of a team, it is generally agreed that we want to be liked and respected. We also recognize not everyone will like us but should respect us, and the environment will dictate leadership style. But, there are some general rules relative to how to interact with people on a day to day basis that build likability and respect.

Always try to make people feel good about their relationship with you, their leader. Be accessible to all members of the team. This means treating people equally, which is different than the same. New people to a team require more leading than veterans on a team. But, veterans respect being treated a little more hands-off and respect a leader delegating more.

Transmit via actions and words to the team that they are collectively and individually appreciated and they are respected. It is not enough to tell team members you see their successes even if you don’t comment on them. That is a cheap way of saying you don’t care to go out of your way to comment and show appreciation.

By deed show people they do matter to the team within the organization and even beyond. Develop ways to recognize a team member individually for achievements outside of work.

Work on being a good likeable and respected leader daily. In the Navy I liked and respected a specific senior officer because every morning he came aboard excited about the day, the mission and his staff. He made sure he said good morning to everyone and ask how they were doing. He really listened to their answers. He would write personal notes to spouses and families who were experiencing joy and defeats. He was a good leader everyone liked. He sounded gruff but everyone knews it was an act. In later years it was a skill I tried to develop.

I also learned that you do not intrude into someone’s job. Senior leaders are respected more when they lead and not come down to team members level to try and prove they are just the same and willing to “get their hands dirty”. People want to be lead and respect their leaders with pride. Senior leaders fight for their teams and hand out justifiable corrective actions fairly.

Leadership is fun, requires a lot of daily effort, requires being involved, must recognize that there is maintenance time involved to keep things in balance and in the end it is rewarding. This is why I am a big fan in saying that team leaders require team building events also; because change is inevitable!

Now we can call attention to some specifics. Some of these are in every management 101 course but still worth reviewing because of contextual changes in teams and organizations. Creating and building likability or respect requires some thought.

Use a person’s name. I have written a lot about winery tasting rooms and some changes in that activity. Let me give you an example of a recent experience my wife and I had at a tasting. We did have a reservation and when we arrived we were not ask for our name, we were ask the time of our reservation. At that point the hostess called us by name, wrote our name on a table tent card and took us to our table. When the concierge came to our table (we were outdoors) he saw our name and commented on the spelling and asks about the origin of the name. He always referred to us as Mr. and Mrs. Lay. Very classy and made us feel important, and yes we bought wine and gladly paid for the tasting also.

Ask people questions to let them talk about themselves. When they reply make eye contact and listen to them respond. Never let outsiders or distractions take away from listening to a team member or customer.

Smile at people as a way to acknowledge you are interested in them and are listening to them.

Include new arrivals into the personal space of a small group discussion. This can be done by stepping to the side to make room in the circle or simply touching a person on the shoulder or arm.

Volunteer to help others outside of your own team. Such a move will not only be recognized as giving of yourself but it reinforces your standing within your own team.

Stay positive in supporting all management. Everyone has faults and differences of opinions, which are fine. But, piling-on is not helpful to a team leader building likability or respect and does not help with clients or customers.

Be genuinely interested in the customer, the team members and vendors. Their opinions do matter in building a leaders reputation as a good leader that is respected and liked.

The active and passive feedback you will receive from your personal contacts will also allow you to put the right people in the right job. This will allow you to make good delegating decisions. From all feedback you will be able to make the right decisions on training and team building events. And keep asking your team what you can do for them to make their job or life better at the company and in their home. Remember, the majority of a team member’s time is at and thinking about their job.

Being likeable and respected is asking for peoples input, accepting input and putting it into a plan and recognizing individual and team performance relative to the plan. When the team wins, the fans win also. A lead is likeable when they are the biggest fan of the team.

In the final analysis, I agree with an author I once read that put it very succinctly: Respect is linked to competence and productivity, and I add, likability without respect is less effective.

I got on this subject because leaders are also made, yes, some are also born. But somewhere along the trail inherited DNA allowed them to bring it out due to some triggering events. I believe the simplest of wineries can employ leadership, likability and respect skills to help sell wine and build a winery operation.

Think about likability and respect and how these power tools are available to you and don’t get esoteric about thinking about it.

Let me leave you with a “rubber meets the road” story.

I first met a one man winery owner, with a small vineyard, and he does it all; prune, crush, bottle, greet visitors and sell his own wine. His wines are great. His tasting room is small, quaint and unassuming. I see him maybe once every year or so. He always comes out from behind his counter when my wife and I come in and greats us both warmly with a hand on the shoulder. He never forgets to ask about our health and reminds us that wine is good for health. He genuinely wants to hear about our young granddaughters and our son and daughter-in-law and his eyes are as intense as his smile when you talk to him. Everybody in his tasting room gets the same greeting. He is liked and respected. He says what he means and means what he says and it is always positive. I would say he is a very smart, real leader, who is willing to share his secrets to fine wine.

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Handling Work Intentionally Done Wrong?

By Lance Winslow (September 27, 2013)


If you are an employee of a company, let me give you some advice; you should never do any work intentionally wrong. Sure, that good career advice and I suppose you don’t see yourself ever doing anything like that, but I am also certain you’ve seen someone else do it. Not long ago, I was having a conversation about this with an acquaintance of mine who works in a manufacturing type industry.

He specifically asks how I have dealt with “handling work intentionally done wrong?” Intentionally done wrong, questioned the question. Well, I’d want to find out why! Disgruntled employee, cutting corners, malice, or sabotage? That’s a scary thought. I’ve seen union employees do this to get back at a company, and angry workers purposely do something like that. In my own company I’ve caught people doing things incorrectly – on purpose – suffice it to say I was not amused in the least.

In the fleet truck wash business we gauged production bonuses for units completed – following my ancestor’s model “Fredrick Winslow Taylor” and sometimes in their haste to hit bonus numbers they’d cut corners, quality slacked, and customers got upset. For me that was a BIG DEAL, because one office for a trucking terminal, if that manager was on a conference call and mentioned we did a crappy job, terminal managers in 6-10 states might know about it, and that hurt other team members, franchisees, company owned units and my reputation as well, screw that.

Can proper bonuses work to keep people doing it right – sometimes, but not all the time, the motivation to do things wrong is a personal issue, and emotional decision – and almost always a bad decision. Now then, when it comes to bonuses – the bonuses must be individual based, special team based, customer satisfaction based, production based and quality based, so do them the best of any company on this planet.

Not number two, screw number two, be number one, that’s what this company is about and if you are not about that, you are in the wrong company! That was my motto. Vince Lombardi rocks! I am not saying everyone has to be a Clark Kent, but they should be striving to be, work in progress and walking the talk.

So, it’s not just units produced, units produced without flaws, the 99.8% Six Sigma way. Give bonuses for ideas to increase efficiency, streamline work flows, ask for ideas, give those ideas their proper due, a simple color coding of materials could speed up the fork lift loader by 2-minutes searching for the right metal grades, or could help those looking for the next job order clip-board a few seconds, every little bit that makes sense (cents) makes dollars too.

Yes, as you can see, I think a lot about this. Production, efficiency, quality, customer service, team work, winning = profits, and profits are good! They represent proof of efficiency in free-markets. No they aren’t all of it, but the score board matters. Bureaucracies run a little different, different goals, but whatever those goals are – truly are – there is no excuse for not achieving them in the most efficient and expeditious manner, and before you take on new challenges, have that foundation running like a Swiss Watch first!

If someone purposely is doing something wrong, you need to know why, remove that employee for cause, reprimand them, or get them to do it right from now on without waiver – then trust but verify. Communication during this process is essential. Please consider all this and think on it.

What Are the Metrics for Measuring Company Culture?


What Are the Metrics for Measuring Company Culture?

By Dr. Rick Goodman

It’s important to have goals, but goals don’t mean much if you have no way of tracking your progress. I think that’s the problem a lot of business leaders have with company culture. It’s not that they don’t understand it, nor that they don’t see the merit in making cultural improvements. Often, though, they struggle to know whether their efforts are working-whether their culture is really improving at all.

It’s a hard thing to measure, yet not impossible. In fact, there are several key metrics you can use to track the evolution of your corporate culture.

How to Measure Company Culture


A few of those metrics include:

Communication. Are your employees all on the same page with regard to your company’s mission and values? Do you find that your current communication channels are effective, or are there frequently communication breakdowns in your company? Are conflicts common? Are they dealt with effectively when they arise? Culture fosters clear communication-and if you see obvious communication flaws, that’s a sign that there’s still work to be done in culture building!


Collaboration. In keeping with the last one, do your employees work together well? Do you have to tell them to use teamwork, or does that come naturally to them? Strong work cultures are environments in which teams flourish and people work together in unity.


Innovation. What’s the last great idea your team developed? Are you all adept at thinking outside of the box? Great culture lends itself to innovation, and creates an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable offering bold ideas for consideration.


Wellness. Are your employees physically fit and mentally able-or are they constantly stressed out or burnt out? Do your employees take a lot of sick time? Are they generally sluggish or inefficient? If your team members are unhealthy, there’s a good chance that your culture is, too.


Support. Do your employees feel like you support them? Do they feel like you’re looking out for them, for their families, for their futures? In a healthy company culture, your employees will feel like they have all the resources and support they need to thrive!


Customer service. Finally: Healthy company culture creates an environment in which customer service is a priority. If your culture is getting better, your customers should be getting happier.


The bottom line for business leaders is that culture is worth investing in-and there are absolutely some ways to track your investment’s progress!

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Features Of Effective Team Building Exercises For Your Business



Businesses today are doing their best to provide the ideal and most effective solution for their clients. This is needed due to the increasing number of competitors. This is also needed in order to cater to the needs of clients properly. Doing your best can ensure that the business will become more profitable and successful.

However, there are instances when work coordination and relationships limit workers and even leaders to perform to their full potential. With this said, it is essential for business owners to make decisions to address this matter immediately. One of the best options to get rid of these issues is to organize effective team building exercises. There are numerous team activities to choose from, but you need to look for an activity that can accommodate your needs. Listed below are some features of effective team building exercises for your business.

Help improve employee’s performance

Numerous tasks and obligations may stress any worker. It gets even worse if workers need to accomplish these tasks in a certain period of time. With this, workers need to exert more effort and time. Luckily, effective team exercises can help improve your employee’s performance. This is possible since team exercises can help hone physical and mental abilities, which is needed at work.

Enhance workers’ relationship

A good team exercise will also help enhance worker’s relationship. There are some activities that mostly focus on personal strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, there are also activities that allow employees to work with others that can help them boost their relationship and communication.

Build trust

Apart from improving relationship, workers can also build trust to others. In this way, they can confidently accomplish their tasks knowing that their co-workers can guide and assist them in case of stressful times.

Promote cooperation and leadership

When participating in team exercises, workers can also improve their cooperation and leadership. For instance, workers who are appointed to become the leader need to devise a plan when performing the activity. On the other hand, members need to cooperate in order to make the plan successful. As a result, individuals can improve their abilities as good members of your business.

Get rid of stress

Finally, effective team exercises will not only help boost your abilities and performance, but also get rid of your stress. By choosing such activities for your employees, you can provide them time to enjoy a fun-filled day.

In case that you wish to enjoy these qualities, the ideal option is to play netball. It is a team sports where individuals need to cooperate and use their abilities in order to win the game. By playing netball, you be sure that your employees can build their personal and social life more efficiently.

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Creating Strong Teams

Creating Strong Teams

18 Aug 2014 – James Sale


Team Building

One of the most important skills of a true leader is the ability to create strong and effective teams. The reason for this is simple and can be summed up in the well known acronym: TEAM – Together Each Achieves More. What this means is that there is a synergy that happens when a true team performs.


I like to think of this as the difference between arithmetic and geometry. People who work together in groups are arithmetic. If there are five people in the group, then the combined productivity is five units – if you are lucky and they all pull their weight. But with a team of five people you have geometric power: it’s not 1+1+1+1+1=5, but 1x2x3x4x5=120 units! As history demonstrates, with twelve people in a real team – and with condition One met: see below – it’s possible to conquer the world!!


Of course, those who are in successful relationships – typically but not exclusively marriage – will know that two people who bond together in love and work together to support each other are also likely to produce extraordinary results in their lives together. Then add children as part of the team and – wow!


There are several aspects to successful teamwork, which includes understanding motivational profiles, and also team skill contributions. But overarching these personal and operational issues, there are four simple things, or conditions that need to be addressed.


Condition One: the team has to have a clear remit, or mission. It is effectively what in military terms is called the Principle of the Objective. What are we trying to do? When I referred to Twelve people conquering the world I had in mind the Twelve disciples of Jesus: whatever else may or may not be true about the story, one thing is certain: twelve people shared an astonishingly clear mission – to spread the message, the gospel, and enable all peoples across the world to hear and respond to it. The results of that are with us today. Thus, if we are leading a team the question we should be asking again and again is: is the mission clear? And we might add, what we are about to attempt needs to be clear, and that is helped by knowing WHY.


Condition Two: interdependency – the understanding that each person’s gifts and abilities are needed to achieve the objective. The corollary of this is that it is entirely possible to have redundant team members – their membership of the team is not essential to the outcome. This is bad. Public sectors generally are full of this bloat. Have you checked recently the relevance of your team members to achieving the objective? Too many, or too few, or just about right?


Condition Three: there needs to be a belief that working as a team actually does produce better results than allowing individuality free rein. This is a big belief that must never be taken for granted. On our training courses we like to experientially demonstrate this. It is far too easy to imagine that believing is the same as thinking; it is not. Believing always has a feeling component, and too much team development is arid and intellectual – in short, the sort of thing you learn to do from a book. Developing strong beliefs counters this.

Finally, Condition Four: successful teams are accountable; this is really part of the remit. Great teams understand they are players in the bigger picture; the person who has been in a great team is always aware of that – that something bigger than them is being achieved, which is why it feels so great. Who are your teams accountable to? It is too easy for groups to become self-perpetuating fiefdoms.

If you can review your own team and tick all four Conditions as met, then chances are, you are performing at a high level, and leading extremely well. Let’s hope so!