The book starts with a story of a college exam for which students had more-than-adequate time to prepare. Nonetheless, there was moaning of the highest (lowest?) order as students got to the last question. Which was ...
"What is the first name of the man who cleans our school?" Damn few, or fewer than few, aced that one. The prof explained, "As you go forward in life, you will meet many people. All of them are important. No matter what their position, everyone you cross paths with deserves your attention and respect, even if all you do is just smile and say hello." (Reminds me of a brief exchange I had with a flight attendant once. I asked her how many people said "Thank you" as they get off the plane. Damn few, though she said it didn't matter: "They don't have to say anything—just a smile will do fine.")
Frankly, never thought I'd be touting a book by a "TV personality." But this is the exception. It's titled The Power of Respect: Benefit from the Most Forgotten Element of Success. The author is Deborah Norville. My new book, which I really don't mean to plug (truly!), is called The Little BIG Things—and this from Ms. Norville is the mother of all little big things.
It's chock-a-block with stories like the one above—and the over-riding point is literally matchless.
"Power tool" #1!
(Reminds me of another favorite, Respect, by Harvard professor Sara Lightfoot-Lawrence, mentioned before at tompeters.com.)
(NB: Is that opening story apocryphal? Don't know, don't care.)