Gathering Gold with the Golden Rule

The advantages of treating others as you would like to be treated seem so incredibly obvious that I’m still shocked when people don’t do it–especially executive leaders. Here’s a quick list:

  1. There is such a thing as “business karma”–what you put out into the business world will come back to you.
  2. Sustained business success is about forming and maintaining relationships, whether their face-to-face or virtual.
  3. Consideration, or caring about other people, is the #1 determinant of leadership success or failure.

If these things are true, then why do some CEO’s treat others in a less-than-caring way? When they’re asked, the typical response is something along the lines of: “I’m a busy person. People should know this and not expect me to take the time to treat them with respect.” Since the leader of a business is the exemplar for everyone else in the business, are we then to assume that the leader would prefer that his/her salespeople treat all customers and potential customers this way? Probably not.

Then why the double standard? Is one of the core values of your business: “Mutual Respect. Show it whenever you’re not busy.”? Probably not.

Make no mistake, leaders must be consistently assertive about spending their time on the relationships that matter to their business success, so they have to say “no” to a lot of people. However, when they do engage another person, being assertive includes caring about the other person too. Even with your competitors, it’s better to outperform them straight up than to make unnecessary enemies. Who knows when those relationships may come in handy down the road?

Hopefully the leaders who are making the mistake of not treating others with respect have a simple blind spot and are misusing their power unwittingly. They probably assume that treating people this way has very few negative consequences, but they couldn’t be more wrong in terms of sustained business profitability.

Techniques

  1. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated.
  2. Especially, keep your promises–people notice.
  3. Remember that you are the exemplar for all your followers on how to treat internal and external customers and potential customers.
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