Monday, July 21, 2008

Being Respectful II

"It is great hope someday to see science and decision makers rediscover what the ancients have always known, namely that our highest currency is respect."

--Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The above quote reminded of what I used to say to myself daily when I ran a rather large mixed-use hotel where every single department was in complete disarray. "Leave them with their dignity," I would say. From banquets to housekeeping there were no systems in place, no personal responsibility, and little positive interrelations among staff or with guests.

Such an environment was indeed challenging. Besides putting simple systems in place, such as checklists for the maintenance department, I had to deal with mindsets. This was challenging indeed. Most seemed to feel like there being there was simply enough--not to mention that they came and went as pleased, covering for each other.

Even in this kind of environment, perhaps particularly so, I had to remind myself daily to leave them with their dignity when, in fact, they did not appear to be very dignified. I would be dishonest if I said that their attitudes did not get the best of me at times. But I think I was quite successful overall, raising the level of each department. Within 9 months traffic increased as did our room sales.

Respect is a form of dignity, a kind of empowerment, we give to others that affects the bottom line. "The highest currency is respect."

As a leader or a decision maker are you empowering others through respect?

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