It might be the time of the year or my mood, but it seems respect has grown wings and flown out the window.
I went back and searched my blogs because I know I did a blog a number of years ago on respect, and sure enough – there it was – written on 12/17/2014. In that past post, I spoke about respecting time. Missing meetings, deadlines, or simply not responding to queries is one of the many components of respect. While this is still a pet peeve of mine, I feel it is important to address another component of respect; and that is authority.
I have worked in the business environment all my life. My first job was in a personnel recruiting office in 1973. I was responsible for supporting several executives in a secretarial capacity. (It helped that I was raised a dutiful child in a military family.) I was 18 years old at the time and it was a summer job between my senior year in high school and freshman year of college. I had no authority at all in that job – but was the front line of this busy office handling phones, reception, shipping, and typing for 10 recruitment managers. Hundreds of people passed through our office every day. As the weeks passed, hard work and respect beget authority. I was given keys and was allowed to open and close the office. They put me in charge of petty cash. They said please and thank you when I exceeded their expectation. In return for my respect for authority came privilege.
Fast track the years to today. I have worked many jobs. I have worked in the Pentagon and received a distinguished service award. I have worked for Henry Kissinger and am mentioned in the forward of his book White House Years. I have worked for a professional soccer team as assistant to the head coach. And, I have worked in every department in a hotel. I have a college degree with a double major in journalism and physical education. I have continued to educate myself in my chosen field, worked alongside colleagues doing everything from scrubbing toilets to speaking to ownership, and kept up with the times. I have been in the hotel/hospitality business since 1980, and have worked with Great American Hotel Group since 1995. Not a bad track record.
I would never insinuate that my longevity and work experience entitles me to your respect; however, the mutual recognition of hard work and loyalty are key tenants of respect. I do not think there is one salesperson under my purvue that I have not treated fairly and respectfully, yet there are many of you out there who appear not respect me. For this, I am incredibly saddened because I am and have always been your champion – yes, even in the bad times.
You may be younger and think youth is an advantage; I have been in your shoes and know that life experience is very important. You may have more hotel experience; I recognize that might be the case but I have worked very hard. You may think your job is more important; I beg to differ. You may be paid more; chalk it up to demographics. But understand this – I am your sales leader and you work for a hotel in our portfolio. Respect is part of your job description.
Happy learning to respect authority!