Leadership Thought #239 – Everyone Has Value (And Should Be Treated That Way)

November 2, 2011

Everyone Has Value | Joseph Lalonde

In work and life it’s important to never forget that everyone has value and should be treated that way.  I find that how someone regularly treats other people, regardless of their status or physical appearance, is a good barometer of that person’s character.  In our society we have come to worship fame, beauty, power and wealth much more than we should.   In all walks of life results should and do matter, however, they are not all that matters.  Allowing a fellow human being to maintain his/her dignity and self-respect regardless of the circumstances is equally important.

Not everyone is made to scale the mountaintop or live a life of luxury.  In fact, it is impossible to make this happen from a socioeconomic standpoint.  However, in all cases the people who get there wouldn’t have made it without the hard work and effort of countless other people.  No one ever achieves success alone despite what some books or talking heads may want to tell you.  There is no completely self-made man or woman.   The best leaders intuitively understand this and approach their relationships and interactions with a win-win mindset because you never know when you will need to rely on the goodwill and understanding of a fellow human being.  There was a movie called “Grand Canyon” many years ago that did a wonderful job illustrating this fact.

This doesn’t mean that people don’t deserve to get fired or be held accountable for their decisions.  We all must learn to live with and accept the consequences of our actions.  However, it does mean that how we treat someone when this happens is as much a reflection of ourselves as of them.  Everyone fails at some point.  What we need to do is create the opportunity for learning and personal growthwhen this happens.   It is always wise to ask yourself how you would like to be treated in a similar situation.  Moreover, when performance isn’t at issue or the interaction is only in passing, why not inject some positive energy, friendliness and kindness into the equation?