How Did They Do It?

In the last message, I shared a few thoughts on how The Law of Solid Ground played an important role in a document 56 men signed that we now know as The Declaration of Independence. But how did this small group of men spark so many in the colonies they represented to take up arms, which was effectively a death sentence for tens of thousands, against what was then the strongest military force on earth? Were they tyrants that forced the common folk into fighting for their cause? I’ve never read anything that leads me to believe that… Did they cast some sort of spell on the unsuspecting masses? I don’t think that was the case either… I believe these 56 men had something going for them that John Maxwell refers to as The Law of Respect!

In chapter 7 of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John opens by saying that “People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves.” At that time in history, the closest thing they had to CNN Breaking News or a trending Tweet was Paul Revere carrying a light while riding his horse… Later in this chapter, John says “When people respect you as a person, they admire you. When they respect you as a friend, they love you. When they respect you as a leader, they follow you.” I enjoy American History as much as any subject I’ve ever studied, and from everything I’ve ever read, the only conclusion I can come to is that these men had EARNED this type of respect as leaders!

As John defines the Law of Respect, he shares several ways we can gain respect from those around us. While most of the things he mentions could be considered out of reach for most people (although I certainly don’t think any one of them is out of reach for anyone that puts their mind to it), one is something that every one of us can do immediately: show Respect for Others. John contrasts the way a dictator uses power to influence people with authentic leadership. He says “… good leaders rely on respect. They understand that all leadership is voluntary. When leaders show respect for others – especially for people who have less power or a lower position than theirs – they gain respect from others.”

I don’t know any other way those 56 men could have gained the support they did in that era without having The Law of Respect working in their favor!

What are you doing to put that same law to work in your own life? Do you wield the power of a title or position? Or do you show respect to everyone around you? Here’s one quick way to answer this for yourself: how did you treat the last waiter or waitress that served you in a restaurant? And was it genuine? I hope so…