7 answers

How do I gain and maintain respect and attention as a leader?

Asked Jackson, Michigan

I'm currently the Head of Marketing on my school's robotics team, and I get a lot of disrespect from my peers, due to lack of interest in marketing, the fact that I'm smaller and younger than everyone else, that I am one of the five-ish girls on a 40+ person team, and the fact that due to my marketing duties, I don't have time to work on build or engineering, which is the one thing that garners respect on the team, and most likely a multitude of other reasons.

How do I become more than labels and appearances? How do I get people to listen and do their tasks? #womeninstem #technology #marketing #women-in-leadership

7 answers

Brittany’s Answer

Updated Missoula, Montana

I think you have two opportunities: Define Your Role, Define Yourself as a Leader

Work with whoever may be working to advise your team/club. Does your role include engineering? If you were working for a corporation, would you be doing the building along with the marketing? Being a good leader isn't defined as doing what everyone wants you to do, it's about doing what is RIGHT for the team. Define what your role entails, communicate it in a positive way, and stay consistent in your follow through.

Also, from your post it seems like you are focused on labels/appearance when that may not be the case. If you are not worried about it, others probably won't be. Your skills and performance will be what shines when that is what you focus on and present to others. Sometimes you have to let go of some of these things and focus on what you know you need to focus on.

Ninos’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

It seems your question has been well answered by others.  However, I would like to add this article for your consideration.

Mark Manson is one of my favorite modern day writers.  I suggest you check out his work. This particular piece deals with confidence.  Enjoy and good luck!  https://markmanson.net/how-to-be-confident

Robert’s Answer

Updated Missoula, Montana

It does sound like you were able to get this position based on your skills. That will shine through and you will get some buy in from your peers. Once you have achieved that from a smaller group simply reach out to them and get their feedback. Showing that you truly care to receive feedback and are interested in others thoughts may garnish more relationships to begin. You will never be able to please everyone, something you shouldn't try, but you reach some that will share their knowledge of your skills with more and more people.

Holley’s Answer

Updated Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Hi Samantha! Great question. You should be proud of the role you have on your team. Every role is important (if it wasn't, then it wouldn't exist!). I think the best leaders are those who give voices to the 'voice-less,' so I would recommend finding others on your team who may feel undervalued and help empower them. I'm sure out of the 40+ team members, there are others who feel similar to you. How can you work together to empower each other and make a stronger team in the process? If others see you leading in this way, I think the respect will come. Keep up the good work!

Stephanie’s Answer


Hi Samantha! One of the best ways to influence your team is by getting to know them personally and understand what they are trying to accomplish. I have been in leadership over 18 years and I realized I needed to get to know my team in order to understand how I could leverage their strengths and serve them in their career next steps.

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