You need people’s permission to lead them: Build trust and positive relationships to make the most of your leadership.

As we’ve learned, positional leaders waste energy protecting their own interests and power. The best way to break free from this type of leadership is by shifting focus from ourselves to others.

The advantages of being more outward-facing are manifold: positive relationships and a pleasant environment raise energy levels and foster an enjoyable workplace.

Consider what happens when you spend time with people you don’t like. Most likely, it drains your energy and feeds a negative outlook. On the contrary, spending time with friends is like recharging your batteries – it makes us feel energetic and full of life!

So, how do you build up these positive relationships? You need to get people’s permission to lead them. This is the next step on the managerial ladder.

You have to value the people around you and treat them accordingly. You’ll find that if you practice a positive mode of communication, you’ll connect with others easily.

To that end, imagine commanding a co-worker in an aggressive way; he’ll probably respond defensively. On the other hand, if you stay calm and gently ask for a favor, he’ll probably be open to your message, making it more impactful.

This kind of communication is crucial, because when people around you trust you and feel appreciated, they tacitly give you permission to lead them.

In other words, people cling to leaders they can trust. Especially when your workplace is dealing with difficult situations, feeling that someone’s looking out for everyone on the team strengthens ties.

For instance, at the U.S. Marines, one of the core values is to leave no one behind, regardless of status. That’s why when they go into combat, officers waive their insignias of rank. Not wearing this symbol sends a clear message: we are in this together; we live and die together, regardless of rank. And this ethos plays a key role in the organization’s imposing reputation.