Early in my career I made a conscious decision to not be like some of my least favorite bosses. I called them my anti-role models and secretly never wanted to turn into them. You know the type. Maybe they are micro-managers or they have minimal leadership abilities, but mostly they are people who treat everyone badly.

When I was able to have interns or other staff members who reported to me I made a point to be a good role model. Respect is created as part of an active process that starts with engagement. What I notice most about these anti-role models, as I look back, is that they used their energy in a nonproductive way leading straight into the land of disengagement for the staff they managed.

So what did I do differently?

The first thing  I did was to realize that it wasn’t always about what I did, but how I made people feel about themselves. I never shied away from a compliment for a job well done or a private chat about something that they could improve. And most of all, I always walked the talk of greeting everyone with a pleasant smile and a sincere interest them.