Thirty One. Goddamn. Do I have to stop acting like a kid now? Take responsibility, stop playing games, become a role model? Jeeze I really hope not.
Growing older has taught me one thing: age itself does not bestow intelligence nor demand respect. Sure, young kids (high school and below) should respect (most) older people because life experience is a fact and kids need boundaries. Beyond that though, I think it would do younger people well to ask “is this dude actually intelligent and authoritative, or is he just ordering me around because of his age and/or position?”
This is especially true in business. When one starts a career I think one tends to follow the same pattern as in education: respect people in authority because you have to. Here’s my tip: you don’t have to. Unless someone (a manager, a workmate) earns your respect, don’t give it to them. Sure, give them time to earn your respect – give them a chance to show their intellect, what they can do, and how they propose to ‘manage’ you – but if they don’t deserve your respect, work around them, go above them, get stuff done. Don’t just sit and stew.
This approach is good for all sorts of reasons. You become recognised for getting stuff done, often leading to promotion. The good managers get great respect and good feedback, often leading to promotion. Bad managers get outed faster. The only risk is that prick of a manager who somehow has respect from further up the chain, meaning that you’ll be seen as having a bad attitude rather than a go-getter. Use your gut here. Nine times out of ten the latter situation is a sign of rot in the company as a whole. Occasionally you can get the ear of a higher-up and get things changed, but most times you’ll want to be updating your CV.
Advice and career tips. Shit I am getting old.