Posted by: David D. Daggett | September 21, 2015

Respect and Leadership

Respect and Leadership

            Last week I was a guest speaker at a Spotlight Honors Program at a local middle school with the theme being “Respect.”  Particularly during this political season we can learn a lot of lessons on respect from these middle school students. It was encouraging to see this school’s focus on character traits, with respect being an overarching trait that includes teamwork, diligence, perseverance, and success.


This sounds pretty similar to our athletic pursuits, doesn’t it?  This is why we need to constantly focus and use the lessons we learn from competition and training.  Certainly respect is a broad topic so my presentation focused on three points.

First, you have to have self-respect.  You have to realize that you are the only you and that you are significant in this world!  In order to respect yourself you have to pursue a life of excellence.  Excellence is pursued in the areas of family, faith, fitness, and profession.  When you are excellent you lead by example in all you do.  If you Dream Big and always pursue excellence your resulting self esteem will give you self-respect.

An important lesson in life is that you have to give to get.  This certainly applies to respect. Leaders give respect.  Don’t make excuses that you don’t have respect, give it first!   We have to care about other people and appreciate them.  Of course, this is the timeless lesson of the Golden Rule.  I keep a ruler in the top drawer of my desk that I was given in second grade Sunday school.  It is imprinted “The Golden Rule” with the “Do unto others . . .” verse printed on it.  I reflect on the Golden Rule every time I open my top drawer as a reminder that you have to give to get.

Lastly, I implored the young people to make the world better!  We desperately need our young people to lead and cultivate a new generation that garners and values respect.  I shared a story from an elementary presentation I made when a young lady came up and asked me if I was President Obama.  With a little smile, I asked her why she would think I was President Obama.  She replied that I am wearing a blue suit, a tie, and have gray hair.  She sees a world that doesn’t have differences between people – a world of respect!  Never give up on making the world a better place.

We concluded with everyone standing, students and parents, and pledging to dream big and earn self-respect, no excuses – you have to give to get, and make the world a better place – never give up because individually and collectively we can make a difference!  I am excited that our upcoming generation will, like a rock that makes ripples in a pond, make ripple after ripple after ripple and make our world a better place.




  1. Nice job! Love! Coded

    Sent from my iPhone


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