Make Friends with the Gatekeepers

“Gatekeepers” are those people who are sometimes derisively called “the little people”—the security guards, janitors, secretaries, and assistants in any organization. It's critical that you treat these people with the utmost respect. I hold a doctorate in organizational leadership, and my studies with and experience in organizations have shown me that it's essential to treat everyone in an organization well, because everyone matters.

Suppose you've developed a business relationship with a vice president at POP industries. I'll call her Julie. Because you're a snob, you've always been dismissive of Julie's assistant, Matt, when you've spoken to him on the phone or visited Julie at the office. After all, he's ...

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