Thursday, May 8, 2008

Being Respectful

In a recent post entitled "????????" at there is discussion about how to best respond to people in authority who are demanding and who lead with fierce ruthlessness. The discussion included how to respond to pricks in authority and asked if women could even be pricks technically.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines prick as:

4. usually vulgar: penis
5. usually vulgar: a spiteful or contemptible man often having some authority

Having recently written on gender matters on this blog, I have thought further about pricks and determine that while women can indeed be difficult leaders they cannot conceivably be pricks. Women are without that essential anatomy that bestows such a title. But they can, needless to say, be just as difficult as pricks which perhaps make them pricks of sorts. Who's going to "totally obliterate" Iran? It sounds like another disturbing refrain, "bomb bomb Iran."

The discussion at and my writing on this blog led me to think about men and women leadership styles. Whether some things are by nature or nurture, it is clear that women generally lead differently from men broader consensus ability where as men tend to lead forthrightly. While it has been long believed that difference is a diminishing factor, difference is not deficient as was so pointed out in a recent post here.

Women lead best in ways that are congruent with our strengths, not assuming caricatures of preconceived no holds barred macho male images that haven't altogether worked well for men. Some say that the US image has been damaged irreparably because of such machismo heroics and rhetoric, destroying many years of goodwill globally. Conversely, nor do men need to lead from an emotional super sensitive center that forever builds consensus when action is required. There is a balance needed which comes out of strength, confidence, respect, and doing unto others as we would like done to us.

In considering how to respond to pricks of all kinds, the following are suggested:

1. Be respectful to pricks in authority even when the are not respectful. (This teaches invaluable lessons in humility and focus that will pay off big professionally and personally.)
2. Do not undermine a pricks authority; work, instead, to create solutions.
3. Be positive! Keep a great attitude in spite of pricks.
4. Be the very best in your position and align yourselves with other positive persons on your team. (Excellence will distinguish your team and isolate the prick in authority. Who's really succeeding here? Who then becomes marginalized?)
5. Don't run! Hold your ground. Pricks are everywhere. You win!

Being respectful to pricks in authority and achieving excellence in spite of them, gives great satisfaction. It may also, in fact, teach them the error of their ways, not by words but by deeds. Whether your actions have direct affect on the prick in authority is not of the utmost importance.

Never make the prick in authority the focus. Respect his/her position but do not focus on them, their personal success or shortcomings. The focus must remain on the problem at hand. Focus on what needs to be accomplished.

Have you run into pricks in your work environment? How have you handled pricks in authority?

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