As a new year and new decade begin, I'm thinking about the power of respect. Self respect and respect for others are integral to success, including in the payments industry. This fact was clear decades ago to Paul H. Green, the founder of The Green Sheet Inc. In Good Selling!SM:Thirteen Weeks to Personal Success, his sequel to Good Selling!:SMThe Basics, Green described his interaction with a Major General at Fort Hood in 1970 after Green received a Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces in the Republic of Vietnam.
In attempting to convince Green to choose a career in the Army, the Major General said, "We see two kinds of exits into civilian careers. We have the professional – that is, those who go into such things as medicine, law, engineering and teaching. Then we have those who fail to make it as professionals and wind up going into something like sales."
Green stated that these "scare tactics" to get him to re-enlist didn't work. It wasn't long before he left the Army and returned to school while also working two jobs in sales – jobs in which he thrived. "As I remembered the Major General's words, I realized the disconnect from how I saw myself and how others might see me," Green wrote. "I had never considered myself someone who had 'failed to make it.' I had thought of myself as a professional. The sales profession was one in which I had considerable pride – and that had begun to reward me with substantial income. It was a conscious decision I had made to be there."
While Green didn't mention respect specifically, there is no doubt the high regard he had for his chosen profession contributed to his success. And as he built his career in payments, Green also respected his merchant customers, the card brands, banks and processors that made the fledgling industry work. With mutual respect he built solid relationships and grew a thriving business.
Green also respected others who entered the industry in its early days. It was respect for the ingenuity and ability of these people that led him to start The Green Sheet back in 1983, when resources for sales professionals in payments were negligible. He knew the feet on the street shouldn't be shoved out the door with minimal training; they deserved support. And he gained a reputation as an authority who would listen to concerns, get to the heart of the matter and provide spot on information time after time.
As The Green Sheet grew, Green consistently demonstrated respect for his employees, too, always doing more than required, mentoring generously and promoting from within. He also demonstrated respect when he disagreed with others. He was passionate while standing up for his beliefs, but he didn't belittle or bully to get his way. This enabled him to accomplish a great deal as an industry advocate.
So as a new year begins, my respect for our readers, our many partners and our evolving publication remains steadfast. And with mutual respect, I believe we can all achieve our dreams.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.Prev Next