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How do you treat junior people?

As a young entrepreneur, I was in a VC’s office asking for money. He took a call from one of his portfolio companies and chewed out the CEO. In front of me.

I should have walked out of the room. I didn’t have the experience at the time to appreciate that he was an ass and having him as an investor would have been a living hell. Luckily for me, he didn’t invest in us.

Manners matter. Pay close attention to how people treat those who are junior to them. The great test: Anyone who is a jerk to a secretary or a waiter.

We have a fake head of HR named Preston Firestone. Job seekers call and ask for Preston (who is never there, of course). We listen to how they treat the person who answered the phone. Preston has saved us again and again from someone who would have been hired, but was actually a complete prick.

Don’t do good deals with bad people. (Don’t do bad deals with anyone.)

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  1. Sara Blum July 29, 2010 at 8:34 am # She would add that you might consider curbing your language in a public forum in deference to the myriad perspectives of your audience.

  2. Andy Sernovitz July 29, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Thanks, Sara. Are you referring to the word “ass” in my post? The name of the blog does start with a four-letter word, so I hope you weren’t too surprised.

  3. kelly July 29, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    I would venture to guess she means this one: “prick.”

  4. Sara Blum July 29, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Actually it’s the word prick. I’m not offended, in fact, it’s rather hard to offend me. That’s how I know others are easily put off. The voice of experience!

  5. Nate Bagley July 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    I heard a great quote from the VP of Sales a few weeks ago that made me resonate similar to the way this post did. “Treat those who have more than you as equals, and treat those who have less as kings and queens.”

    Everyone deserves to be treated with awesomeness… including Preston.

  6. Charity Woosley August 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Please, please don’t curb your language. That is all. :P

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