You Have to Earn Respect

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You Have To Earn Respect, And If You Can’t Earn It, You Have To Demand It.
by Marcia Heroux Pounds
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Business Strategies Column

You have to earn respect, and if you can’t earn it, you have to demand it.

That’s what a soon-to-be fired team member was told by the Trump Organization on the TV show, The Apprentice.

In case you have a life, let me catch you up. Donald Trump, New York real estate developer and owner of the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, is co-producer of a reality show that pits men and women against each other. The prize is a yearlong stint running a business for the Trump Organization at a salary of $ 250,000.

In the last episode, project leader Sam Solovey whines that his team failed in its latest assignment because his team members “didn’t respect him.”

In this reality offering, the Trump Organization is holding itself out as the model for achieving fame and fortune in the business world. Without debating that, I wondered whether South Florida business leaders shared the Trump exec’s view that respect must be demanded if it can’t be earned.

Robert Danzig, who oversaw 6,000 employees as president of Hearst Newspapers and is the author of The Leader Within You, says there’s always an implication of respect for an office, such as chief executive or business owner. “That’s inherent,” says Danzig, now a part-time South Florida resident. “But that can be wasted by taking for granted the talents” in an organization.

“When you respect them, they come to respect you,” Danzig says.