The Three “R’s” of Leadership

These will make you a better leader (and a better person).

Posted Oct 29, 2017

Successful leadership is follower-focused. Followers do the “heavy lifting,” and without them, nothing gets done. Here are the three most important things that leaders can do: The three “R’s” of leadership:

1. Respect.  Show respect for followers (and for others, such as customers, vendors, etc.). Respect includes valuing followers’ skills, dedication, and their contributions to the enterprise. Respect also means soliciting followers’ input, and valuing their opinions and their feelings. Listening to employees and getting to know them is the first key to great leadership.

2. Recognize.  Show appreciation for others’ contributions. Give credit where credit is due. Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “When the best leader’s work is done, the people say “We did it ourselves.” In today’s world of information workers, followers have much to contribute, and the wise (and effective) leader understands that.

3. Reward.  Leaders who truly know their followers understand what motivates each of them and reward them appropriately. For some employees the most valuable reward is being given additional responsibilities, for others, it may involve public recognition, and financial rewards work for most.

The truly great leaders possess wisdom and humility—they understand the important role of followers, give them credit, and strive to understand and connect with them.