Treat All the People You Meet With the Respect and Courtesy They Deserve as Fellow Human Beings

Linda Zecher is the President and CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a publishing giant.  She’s had an interesting career, working for Texas Instruments, Oracle, PeopleSoft, ADP. Bank of America and Microsoft.  Proof that job hopping is not always a bad thing.

Here are Linda’s best three pieces of life and career success advice…

  • Just be yourself.
  • Hire people who are not like you.
  • If you’re not having fun, do something else.

I really like Linda’s second piece of advice — hire people who are not like you.  Even if you’re not in a position to hire someone, it’s always good to appreciate other people for their differences.  I believe that everyone has something to offer. Never dismiss anyone out of hand. Take the initiative. Actively build relationships.

Successful people have a deep respect for the dignity of each individual. It doesn’t matter if the person in front of you is the President of the United States, your boss, a co-worker, a taxi driver, a security guard or the housekeeper at your hotel.

Cathy, my wife, is the best example of someone who values every person she meets. She is friends with everyone – the pharmacy techs where we get our prescriptions, the couple who own the dry cleaners where we do business, the supermarket checkout people and baggers, the servers at the restaurants we frequent, and on and on and on.

Cathy is genuinely interested in these people. She knows their names, their spouses’ names and their kids’ names. She inquires about their lives. She knows about their vacations, what grades their kids are in school and lots of other things about them – all because she values them as individuals and takes the time to get to know them. She is one of the least judgmental people I know.

If you want to create the life and career success you deserve, take a lesson from Cathy. Pay attention to the people around you. You will learn a lot and your life will be richer for it. Don’t judge people by what they do. Get to know others as individuals. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.

The common sense career mentor point here is simple. Everyone has something to offer. Never dismiss anyone out of hand.  Following this career advice will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve. More important, it will lead to a richer and fuller life. When you engage people, when you expect to find them to be interesting, you will open yourself up to a world of ideas that will not only help your career success, but will also help you succeed as a person.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a free copy of my latest eBook Career Success Rx at When you do, I’ll begin sending you daily motivational quotes and give you a free basic membership in my career mentoring site.



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