There is great unrest in the Middle-East and it’s playing out in Tunisia, Yemen and on the streets of Egypt right now. People have taken to the streets with demands that would have been unthinkable not long ago. Reform isn’t enough. They want their present leaders gone. What could possibly have happened such that the leaders have lost their charter, their ability to lead? Of course, there are many reasons, yet the basics are the most important.
I saw an interview of an Egyptian woman just a few days ago. She was asked what the Egyptian people want and she answered with startling clarity, saying, “We want freedom and we want dignity.” For our purposes as leaders in the business community, the dignity part of her statement is what we can affect.
As you can see, needing a sense of dignity is more than enough to turn out hundreds of thousands of people willing to risk violent response by police and the military. And it may be why some of your best people might be willing to leave your shop and risk this difficult employment environment.
Dignity is a really big thing. Without it we feel diminished and hollow. And without a sense of being respected by the leader, people’s sense of dignity can take a hit and they will react. They might quit or, worse, they might stay and become passive-aggressive, giving far less of themselves than they are able. But when they feel your respect, they want to give their very best, their A-game.
How can you let them know that you respect them? We deal with that extensively in our Fully Alive Leadership© workshops and, interestingly enough, it’s not so hard to do.
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