“I'm not concerned with you liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” – Jackie Robinson
Brian Littleton, CEO of Shareasale.com and the winner of the 2008 Affiliate Summit “Wayne Porter Affiliate Marketing Legend” Award, posted a great blog entry today, which really hit home with me. His overall theme in his post deals with treating others with respect – something that I believe can definitely be improved within our industry.
Now I’m not saying that we are ALL deficient in our abilities to show consideration for others. That is certainly not the case. However, over the many years that I have been in this industry, I have witnessed a fair share of insults, inconsideration, disregard for other people’s opinions and a general lack of sensitivity for other people’s feelings. A couple of cases that come to mind that I have seen recently include:
– While I was at several parties that took place at Affiliate Summit 2008 Las Vegas, I witnessed a lot of networks in attendance at their competition’s parties. Now that’s cool. That’s the kind of spirit that embodies our industry. What wasn’t cool was that several of them actually had the audacity to try to poach affiliates, merchants and OPM’s, while they enjoyed drinking their host’s booze and eating their host’s food. How did they not know what the proper etiquette would be?
– I saw an affiliate raise-up their hand, turn around and walk away from a CPA Network employee while that employee was in mid-sentence. There are a lot nicer ways to say that you don’t want to do business and excuse yourself than that.
– A former Affiliate Manager, turned “network owner” who apparently doesn’t like the Affiliate Summit show (although hasn’t attended the last few) decided to flame Shawn and I on various forums and blogs, citing that he could do it better, although he has never actually ran a conference before. (Dude, have at it. Any additional exposure for Affiliate Marketing is awesome for the industry – just make sure I get an invite to attend.) Since when did it become acceptable to publicly bash other people in an effort to make yourself look good? Don’t most people still see right through that?
Here’s the way I see it. We work in a diverse industry made up of many different business models, business sizes, work ethics and experience. It is this kind of diversity that can make all our business and professional lives much more enjoyable, interesting and worthwhile – but only if we get along with each other. And to do that we have to respect each other.
As I’ve said many times before, people need to treat others as they want to be treated, because what goes around comes around. Besides, no one will really care how wonderful or brilliant you are, if you respect nothing.