leadership

Power Play: Respect yourself

Rose Herceg /

In a desperate bid to get stuff done, we all trade in our self-respect from time to time.

It’s easy to do and hard to claw back, so think long and hard about the price you pay for keeping somebody else happy.

You can survive humiliation. You can survive failure. You can survive ridicule. But it’s much harder to survive the obliteration of your self-respect.

Nothing is worth it if it makes you feel cheap and easy. Loss of self-respect comes from knowing what you should do and choosing not to do it.

It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror when you don’t like what you see. Learn to grow a healthy measure of self-respect: it will save your bacon more times than you can count.

The story

My business partner and I had a meeting with a guy who was trying to roadblock a project, despite his client already agreeing to being financially involved.

Seeing this guy was a courtesy, but he hated that we had a direct relationship with his client. We, on the other hand, didn’t mind having to bring him into the picture given he’d need to be involved.

Arriving at his office for our meeting, he kept us waiting in the lobby for 29 minutes; we could see him through the glass of his corner office sitting at his desk.

As he finally got up from his chair, my partner turned to me and said: “We’re out of here.” And we left.

When his client later found out what happened he was taken off the project and soon after he was fired. We’d been courteous, professional and patient, but we drew the line at being treated so disdainfully.

We also should have left nine minutes earlier.

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