A leader is a person who is able to inspire others to become the best that they can be in order to achieve greater things than they could have imagined they would have ever accomplished. The focus being on the word inspire. Inspire in this context refers to the ability to influence or impel someone to become the best they can be. This is not done through coercion or manipulation; but, with genuine appreciation for the talents that another person possesses. Leaders help individual’s tap into their own potential to become achievers and eventually leaders themselves. This type of leadership is only accomplished through trust and respect, which must exist between the leader and the follower.
Trust is something that must be cultivated in the leader/follower relationship and it is built on showing respect to one another. To get respect you must give respect. To be trusted you must trust. No follower will trust a leader if the leader does not first show the follower he or she is trusted. The same is true of the leader. Trust is nourished through the act of showing respect and is bidirectional. At any point that disrespect is shown trust begins to diminish. Therefore, it is critical to address and resolve any issues that appear disrespectful towards either party. The best leaders are able to identify such issues, openly addressing them with respect towards their subordinates in order to maintain the flow of trust between the two.
In summary, the ability to lead (inspire, influence, or impel) other people begins and ends with respect and trust. The leader needs to lead with genuine respect and trust for others. By doing so, subordinates will return the same respect and trust. By being trust worthy, the person seeking to be a leader will gain the trust of others and, in so doing, be able to inspire them to be the best they can be and to achieve things they may never have believed possible!