Attaining Respect

As men, a critical aspect of our life is the respect we earn and the respect we give. Respect is a measure of our success among men. When you accomplish something others see as difficult and honorable, their respect for you rises. When you fail at something they see as easy, or you do something dishonorable, their respect for your declines. And, those who are most respected are given the best life has to offer - better jobs, more money, better women, better rank among men. Some have even said that respect is the ultimate level of success for a man - what drives us to earn more, get more, accomplish more.

If respect is so important, why not make attaining it one of your goals? Like so many of the best parts of life, chasing it rarely works at attaining it (think about love, freedom, admiration, or success). Chasing it is driven by ego - and giving in to ones ego is most certainly not a difficult accomplishment. Where I often see this is with new team mates. They want to say how things go and have the respect of other men - and they can see that men in positions of authority get those things - so they want the position without the work to earn it. Sometimes giving men unearned positions serves in motivating them to earn it, but more often it results in them failing. They haven't earned the respect of their followers, so getting the team into action or getting them past hurdles is near impossible.


Ok, so I want to attain the respect of my peers, but I'm clear chasing it doesn't work - so now what. Here's what you can do:

  1. Earn Trust. Earning the trust of men often earns their respect.
    • Developing your reliability and the degree you can be counted on by your men. That means keeping your word even when you don't want to. That means stretching yourself rather than giving up with a good excuse.
    • Taking actions which help them accomplish what matters to them. Each of these "deposits" builds up trust. Helping when they need help, holding them to account, asking the tough questions and keeping an eye on how you could be of service to them.
    • Avoiding actions which waste their time, energy, money, etc. Doing things at the last minute, not appreciating or growing from help you get, being late, unreliable, driven by your ego, cheap, stuck in victim or any of the like.
  2. Gain Mastery. Growing and gaining an ability to accomplish in an area of life which provides value to others gains their respect. This is a simple supply and demand thing. If many men demand an ability you have, and there are few others who supply it, they will respect the fact that you attained it. Now, if you're trying to gain mastery just to gain respect - you'll likely fail at it. Gaining mastery in any area requires discipline, hard work, focus and passion. The key is to find "your" area. The one that you'd want to gain mastery in even if there were no rewards.
  3. Give Respect. Who you give respect to and for what makes a difference in how men respect you.
    • When you respect your men, they are more likely to respect you. Now it matters what you respect about them, but every man has aspects of their life about which they are proud. Find them, and if it authentically speaks to you, grant that man respect.
    • Men learn as much about you based on your giving of respect as to your earning of it. Remember, you give respect when they've accomplished something you see as difficult and honorable. When you give respect, you are declaring what you see as difficult and what you say is honorable. Reveling with your men about how a man managed to make a bunch of money by screwing over another man may be difficult - but is it honorable?
  4. Be Honorable. This goes without saying for men, but it is important to understand and be clear about what you and others see at honorable. Ideally, you'll be able to agree on a code to live by. As a group of men ourselves, Motomo lives by our Code of Honor, detailed here in several articles.

When you see the difficulty and the lifelong pursuit built into attaining respect - it is easy to grant a little more respect to those whom you already respect. Gaining the respect of others is no easy task, and should not be taken lightly. Lastly, when you drink from the well, remember (and respect) those who dug it.

Gary Menezes, 2019-05-29 | Posted in General