Why do people want to follow you?

People generally follow other people that they respect.


What is the law of respect?

People follow leaders who are stronger themselves. They don’t just follow randomly. People follow people that they respect. Respect is the foundation of all types of leadership.


If you are discussing a topic such as climate change then people will follow the person who seems to be the most knowledge. If you go to a family gathering, people respect the elders and follow them because they have more knowledge, experience and wisdom. In a group discussing education then people will pay more attention to the most educated person. People follow leaders who they perceive to be better than themselves.  If your leadership ability is a 7 then everybody with leadership ability of 1,2, 3,4, 5 and 6 will follow you.   However, if a person has leadership ability of 10 then everyone will follow this person. This is the law of respect.


The law of respect is similar to the law of magnetism.

When people get together at first then they make moves in different directions. Very quickly someone will show greater leadership ability and a vision and then everyone will line up and follow. If they disagree, they may decide to leave the group. People follow the leader that is the strongest.


How do you develop respect?

People will respect you if you are a natural leader. They will follow you and want to be around you.  They’ll listen to you and get excited when you communicate your vision. Some people are born leaders and assume that responsibility early in their lives whilst others gain it through gaining knowledge and experience. When people respect you and your achievements then they will admire you. If you are friends with people, then they will love you. However, when people respect you as a leader then they will follow you.


Some leaders rule by force and intimidation. Dictators use violence and intimidation to force people to follow them. This is not real leadership if people don’t have a choice. Good leaders respect others, especially those in lower or weaker positions. Respect is reciprocal – if you want it then give respect to others. When people respect you as a leader then they will naturally want to follow you. If you lead well and respect people, they will want to carry on following you. If you disrespect people continuously, they will leave you.


Everyone respects courage. As a leader you will face tough situations. You have to stand up against all odds for what’s right. This takes great courage in the face of strong opposition. You must do what’s right despite the constant criticism, risk of failure and great danger. Your courage as a leader gives people hope and builds their confidence.


We are naturally attracted to people who are more successful than ourselves. Success is alluring and that is why people follow film stars, sports teams and champions and people in business who have been very successful and made a lot of money. You must constantly develop and improve yourself and rack up successes. It’s hard to argue against a successful track record. People respect and honour achievements. People will follow you because they want to be part of your success.


We live in a culture of rapid change. People change jobs constantly. Even professional people may have around a dozen jobs during the course of their lives. Sportsmen and women change teams for higher wages and transfer fees. It’s rare to find true loyalty. Therefore, loyalty commands respect. When you lead a team and stick with it through thick and thin until the job is done, they’ll respect you.


People will follow you if you make them and their lives better. The best way to gain respect is keep adding value to people who follow you. Even when people move on, they will always remember you, love you and respect you because you were an important part of their journey.


How good are you as a leader?

If you want to know how good you are as leaders then look at people in your team.  How do you rate the calibre of people that you have attracted? If you are respected as a leader you will attract the best people.


The second way to know is to gauge how people respond to you. When you ask them to do something difficult, to make a change, or commit to something, how do they respond? If you are respected, then people will step up, commit and deliver. They’ll take risks, work harder, put in longer hours and do whatever it takes. If you are not respected then your followers will be reluctant, question your decisions and make excuses.


If you are a great leader then you will also focus on developing leaders underneath you. When there are a lot of leaders in an organisation then success is easier to achieve. This gives your organisation sustainability. Your followers will naturally go onto leading at higher and higher levels.



  1. How do your followers respond when you ask them to commit to or change something? Write down your thoughts, reflect and analyse the situations. What did you learn about your leadership? If you were in the same situation again, what would you do differently?
  2. Examine personal qualities of a leader such as respect, courage, achievements, loyalty, added value and natural leadership ability. Rate yourself in each area on a scale of 1 to 10. Write down a plan of how you can improve each area to move to a higher number.
  3. Get people closest to you to evaluate your leadership ability. Ask them about what you can improve. Develop an action plan to improve yourself and execute.

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Posted by ypsociety