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Fear or Respect

Fear or Respect

Over the years I have learned that there are two general forms of leadership, De jure and De facto. De jure leadership means I have a title therefore I am in charge. I’m the manager, the boss, the CEO, what I say goes, and if you don’t like it, there’s the door… This is the most common form of leadership in our culture. Our society is built on the idea of hierarchy. Those at the top tell those at the bottom what to do. This type of leadership is usually built not only around a title but also around fear, the fear of losing my job if I don’t perform or advance. The leader even struggles with fear, what if he can’t get the people to do what he wants, what if he can’t get results. This model breeds and encapsulates fear.

The other leadership model is De facto. You are the leader because people follow you. People follow you because you have their best interest at heart, you care about them, and you don’t ask them to do anything you wouldn’t do. They trust and respect you. Sometimes this leadership doesn’t come with a paycheck and usually carries the burdens of all those you lead. Yet at the same time it’s the most fulfilling thing you do.

In the world of leadership, you can lead with fear or respect. De jure carries a title, yet carries fear and uncertainty. De Facto leaders are the servants that change the world. Those whom we respect because they display the character we all desire.


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