It sounds overly simple, but in practice, it’s not that easy. Put yourself to the test. Watch your behavior with strangers when maneuvering for a space in a crowded parking lot, or standing in a long line at a store. Compare that then to the next time you encounter someone from your executive team. Do you treat everyone with the same level of respect or kindness? If not, why not?
Civility may be a lost art, but it is critical to anyone aspiring to become a true leader. If we treat those who we believe can benefit us with a higher level of respect and kindness than someone who we feel may likely cost us something, then is it really respect? Does kindness even enter the picture? The difference is the center of your focus. If it is on yourself, then your level of respect may vary greatly. But if the focus of every encounter is for the good of whom you are encountering, then your level of respect or kindness will be consistently high.
Leadership is continually making the choice to seek the betterment of everyone with whom you encounter. This is quite the opposite of allowing circumstance or relative position dictate your demeanor.
It takes a lifestyle of ever-increasing goodwill and patience to develop a character of kindness and a manner of respect for everyone. The best part about this, is that you will most likely have at least a dozen chances this very day to try it out. There is no shortage of opportunities to personally grow in this area!
Whether or not you aspire to leadership, decide for yourself to make respect and kindness directive rather than selective!