They will be your next _____________. Fill in the blank with boss, friend, customer, co-worker, donor, or in my case president. This was a statement that my dad said often. It was a gentle reminder that for us in the association management industry, we don’t know who will join our association next and ultimately become the president of the organization. There seems to be an association for EVERYTHING from lawyers to electrologists to roller skating. So I truly don’t know with whom we might work in the future. Or what that future member/president is doing now.
One time I was handling registration and one of the volunteers was standing behind the desk with me. An attendee who was a fundraiser was rude to us about something. I don’t recall what any longer. What I do remember is that the volunteer’s father in law was a major donor to that fundraiser’s non profit. And yes the father in law did learn of that incident.
I recently read that Zappos picks up potential employees from the airport and drives them both to and from the interview. How the limo driver is treated is part of the evaluation of whether the individual will get the job. A staffing company owner answers the phone periodically to learn how her staff is being treated. A friend shared with me that she won a major piece of business because of the positive interactions and rapport she had developed with the company president’s assistant.
This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everyone or not speak up when something is wrong. Be respectful in your tone and of the other person’s feelings. A mistake doesn’t make the other person stupid or uncaring. Missing a connecting flight because of a mechanical issue isn’t cause to berate the airline staff. And have you thought about who might be at the next gate watching?
I like the theory that there is a conspiracy – not to harm me- but to help me. So be part of the conspiracy and treat everyone as though they might be your next _____ and see what happens.
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