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34: Barry Banther & the 5 “Rights to Respect” for Every Employee

By January 23, 2019 February 10th, 2020 No Comments

Our guest today has 4 decades of experience as a leader in education, business, and non-profit organizations. Family First, the home of the All Pro Dad Program named him their family ambassador of the year. He is also the current Vice-President of the National Speakers Association, Barry Banther.

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Barry Banther has been a trusted advisor to closely held companies and family owned businesses for over three decades. His clients include the following: Rockwell, Bank of America, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Tampa Bay Steel Company, the McNichols Company, United Planet Fitness Partners, and Air Ambulance Worldwide.

His work in Leadership Development and Strategic Planning has earned him the highest accreditation from the Institute of Management Consultants CMC (Certified Management Consultant).

His ability to facilitate improved communications within organizations has earned him the highest designation from the National Speakers Association CSP (Certified Speaking

Professional). Barry has been a featured speaker in conferences in both the United States and

Europe, as well as presenting to professional sports teams in both Major League Baseball and the NFL.

Less than 40 consultants hold both designations (CMC, CSP) simultaneously. Barry has written over 50 Leadership Development Programs used by companies worldwide. His latest book, A Leader’s Gift, How to Earn the Right to be Followed reached Best Seller status on Amazon the day of its release. Barry produces a weekly online Business Breakthrough video series and a weekly blog for managers, Manager’s Memo.

In addition to his consulting practice, three governors of Florida asked Barry to serve in their administration overseeing private higher education. He was elected to an unprecedented three terms as Chairman of the Florida State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities.

In 2010, Barry was named Family Ambassador of the Year by Family



Leadership Biz Advisor @barrybanther



“A Leaders Gift – How to Earn the Right to be Followed” by Barry Banther

“Return on Integrity” by John Blumburg

“No Matter What” by Sam Silverstein

“The Book of Philippians” by the Apostle Paul


READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION of the EPISODE HERE (or download the pdf):

**IMPORTANT: This podcast episode was transcribed by a 3rd party service and so errors can occur throughout the following pages:


Mike Domitrz: Welcome to The RESPECT Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Domitrz, from, where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions, and the US military, create a culture of respect. Respect is exactly what we discuss on this show. Let’s get started.

Mike Domitrz: Welcome to this week’s episode. Our guest today has four decades of experience as a leader in education, business, and non-profit organizations. Family First, the home of the All Pro Dad program named him their Family Ambassador of the Year. He is also the current vice president of the National Speaker’s Association, which I am proud to be a member of. That is Barry Banther. Barry, thank you so much for joining us.

Barry Banther: Mike, I have looked forward to this. Thank you so much for the privilege.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely. As you know, our show’s all about respect. You work with corporations, organizations of all sizes, at the highest levels. Why do you think respect is important in business?

Barry Banther: Because it’s important to the bottom line. There have been a host of studies done. I’m sure your listeners are familiar with the Harvard Business Review report last year during the summer, on how respect, specifically respect, plays a role in productivity, plays an important role in profitability. Let’s take it from a near-term example, Mike. Just a few minutes before we got on the phone, I had a call with the owner of a company who’s CFO had resigned yesterday. He asked me to do a quick exit interview what happened. The company’s growing. They made some recent acquisitions. It didn’t make any sense.

Barry Banther: When I had the opportunity, a few minutes ago, to speak with the CFO, and began by saying, “Can you give me some idea of what lead you to this decision?” It wasn’t their compensation. It wasn’t the new work assignments they’d received. It wasn’t anything happening with their employees. Here’s what they said, “I don’t feel valued by the CEO and the owners of the company.”

Barry Banther: We spent the next 10 or 15 minutes talking about why they don’t feel valued. Respect matters in the corporate marketplace, because it’s a key to profitability, key to productivity, key to retaining your very best employees.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, this is so key. One aspect of that is, the fact that this person in a high leadership role was not able to communicate that without fear of probably retribution or judgment. That they weren’t aware this is why they were leaving tells you you have a culture that’s lacking respect, because if you had a really healthy culture, they’d be able to tell you where problems are in the culture. That should happen in a healthy environment.

Barry Banther: You’re exactly right. In my experience, and I’ve been privileged to be the lead consultant over 400 engagements in companies to try to improve profitability, and improve performance. There are five key rights that every employee in the marketplace has, that oftentimes owners and leaders don’t recognize. These five rights, in my opinion, are the definition of respect in the marketplace.

Barry Banther: Here’s the first one, the person has a right to be there to work. They’re not an indentured servant. They’re not a slave. You’re not creating charity for them. They have a right to be there to work.

Barry Banther: Secondly, they have a right to physical security, safe in terms of their emotional security. That’s what all the legislation from the last two decades has been around, but it relates to a toxic work environment, or a hostile work environment. The third thing, the third right, is the right to be trained. You can’t be expected to be on a job that you might have the initial skill set for, but you’ve not been trained for that job.

Barry Banther: The fourth right, is the right to be heard. Then, when they believe they’re being genuinely listened to, and genuinely listening to someone means that you’re showing them respect. You’re not running over them. You’re not short changing them. You’re not making the decisions for them.

Barry Banther: Then, the fifth right, that I think every employee has, every colleague has, is the right to be appreciated. This past week, we saw the passing of Herb Kelleher, founding chairman of Southwest. The employees took out a full-page ad in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. In that ad they said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Thank you, Herb, for knowing each one of us by name.”

Barry Banther: Kelleher set the standard for CEOs showing respect in the marketplace, by getting to know every employee, and simply listening to them. There’s no doubt in my mind, respect is not something that’s an add-on. It’s not something, be nice if we had it. It’s absolutely essential to sustainable business success.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, there’s some there … I want to back up and talk about, because I think it’s so important for people to understand, and this is the right to be appreciated, because a lot of people mistakenly will say, “Well, you have to earn your respect here.” That is such a dangerous concept, because what it means is, “I don’t have to appreciate you, until you meet some standard that I’m going to create, or that somebody over here is going to create.” The danger of that is, yeah, but somebody could do the same thing above you, and say, “You don’t deserve to be appreciated.” It’s always coming from a I’m the ruler, and I get to choose when you get to be valued or appreciated.

Mike Domitrz: Barry, you mentioned really quickly there, that there’s five key rights that every employee has. What are those five key rights?

Barry Banther: Mike, I’ve been privileged to be the lead consultant over 400 engagements to help turn around and improve performance in a business. It’s been our experience, that there are five rights, that if you as the owner, as the leader, as the manager, recognize that your entire team have these five rights, then that’s the platform to build a sustainable, profitable business.

Barry Banther: Here’s the first one, the person has the right to be there to work. They’re not indentured servants. You’re not doing them a favor. They have arrived in this country. In most countries in the world today, where people could profit from their labor, they have the right to be at work.

Barry Banther: Second right, they have the right to feel safe, physically safe, emotionally safe. Thirdly, they have the right to be trained. It’s not appropriate, doesn’t work to hire someone, even though they might have the requisite skills, and then not train them for the job they’re supposed to be doing. Fourthly, they have the right to be heard. It’s been said, and it’s something that I believe strongly, “No one feels more valued, than when they believe they have been listened to.”

Barry Banther: Listening to that associate gives them a sense of value. In fact, there is a full-page ad in this last weekend’s Wall Street Journal. Herb Kelleher, the founding chairman of Southwest Airlines, passed away last week. His employees took out a full-page ad to thank him.

Barry Banther: I’m paraphrasing, but one of the things that they thanked him for, “Thank you, Herb, for knowing all of our names.” It was legendary how he spent time with every new employee. Keep in mind, that tens of thousands of employees at Southwest, learning their names and listening to them.

Barry Banther: Then, the fifth right, is the right to be appreciated, be able to reach down inside someone, and show them what they do well. Bring out the best in them. If you practice granting your employees these five rights: the right to be at work, the right to feel safe, the right to be trained, the right to be heard, the right to be appreciated, you have now created a respectful workplace. That’s the key to a sustainable enterprise.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely. I mean, if you look at each of these, they all affect the bottom line, because some people are out there going, “Well, all our people care about, or all our leadership cares about is the bottom line, but these are all bottom line driven, too.” Look, if somebody … Let’s go to emotional and physical safety. If you have an assault in your place, whether that be harassment, sexual assault, violence, physical assault, just from the bottom line viewpoint, the damage that’s going to do financially to the organization’s PR, reputation, the cost, the harmful environment it’ll create for the employees, the amount of money and investments it’ll take … Which is a cold way to look at it, but just, if somebody’s going to be that cold and say, “Bottom line,” is a lot of money you are talking about right there.

Mike Domitrz: If you move to the next one, the right to be trained. If people are not trained, and they’re screwing up non-stop on the job, because you failed to train them, that’s costing you incredible amounts of profits.

Barry Banther: It’s been estimated, Mike, that the cost of rework … having to do something over because it wasn’t done right the first time … It’s been estimated that that costs as much as 25% of the cost of doing business. When you’ve not trained people properly, you have sabotaged your success. You’ve built into the company the failure, because if they have to do 10%, 15%, of the work over, because they weren’t trained to get it right the first time, then that’s going to wipe out out your margin. It’s not a matter of being cold and calculated. It’s a matter of using common sense.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah. What’s amazing is how often people want to blame the employees, instead of the organization’s training. “Well, we can’t find good people. These people we come in, they just do horrible work.” You sit there go, “Well, how did you change your education process for the people who came in, so that they would do good work?” Or, “Why did you hire … Why’d you bring this person on your team in the first place? How did that happen?”

Barry Banther: Exactly. The great industrialists of the 19th and 20th century knew this, “It is not enough to pay a person. You will not win a person of labor to your way of thinking, until you’ve won their heart.” You win their heart through training, through listening, through appreciation, through safety, through showing them respect. You would be hard-pressed, in my opinion, to find the leader of any company that’s had sustained profitability.

Barry Banther: I’ll go back to Southwest an example. The current president, Gary Collins, at our NSA meeting told us last year, since they began in 1978, every airline that was in business then, or every airline that has started since then, has gone bankrupt or broke except Southwest Airlines. They’ve made more money year after year for over 45 plus years, and never laid a single person off. The proof is in the financial statements. Respect equals profits in the workplace.

Mike Domitrz: Well, in this last one, number five, the right to be appreciated, is one that I see the most push back on. People say, “Look, they need to earn my respect.” The danger in that statement, I don’t think people realize, especially people in management, this idea that you have to earn my respect when you come aboard and join us … Well, the problem with that is, that means you’re acting in a godlike position. “I have all the power, and you have to behave this certain way for me to accept you,” which means right away, I’m not good enough when I walk in the door. I have to do something, to perform, to be appreciated, which means right away I’m working in a negative environment.

Mike Domitrz: Second of all, if you treat me that way, who’s treating you that way on top? The right, the rule can always be changed by whoever’s on top in that situation. It’s very dangerous.

Barry Banther: When I hear that from a CEO, the way I will sometimes respond is, “Well, when you see one of your managers poorly treating one of your employees, and they say to you, ‘I’m waiting on them to earn my respect,’ What do you think?” Or, “When you see one of your salespeople poorly treating a customer, saying, ‘That customer’s got to earn my respect,’ What do you think?” It’s foolish. We know that that’s not something that’s going to work in the marketplace.

Mike Domitrz: Exactly, yeah. If we hire you, we respect you. That’s a key element. We appreciate you and respect you the moment we decided to bring you aboard, or we wouldn’t have brought you aboard.

Barry Banther: Exactly. Keep in mind, in a tight work environment, where there’s so many opportunities for people to work, you can’t afford to put people in that position where they’ve got to earn that.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah, right. If I’m walking in thinking, “Oh, here I have to earn it,” and I can leave somewhere else, and they’ll immediately appreciate me, I’m gone. Right? Most people are going to be gone to where they can be appreciated. Absolutely. So important.

Mike Domitrz: Why do you think it is, Barry, that we talked about the Southwest example right there. Why do you think it is that so many people don’t have that viewpoint of corporate leadership? You talk to most people, and it is a cold viewpoint if they only care about the bottom line. They only care about the stock price. They only care about who’s in that board meeting at the end of the year. That’s who they care about. When in fact, you do look at the Southwest, the companies that are thriving, there’s a lot of work done to create a respectful

Mike Domitrz: For culture. Why do think the perception is that that’s lacking in corporate America?

Barry Banther: Well I think for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the media we watch. It’s popular to characterize people in leadership in business as being people who don’t believe in respect, don’t believe in appreciation, and that’s the stuff that movies are made out of. I’ve been not in a movie but on the ground for 30 plus years in Fortune 100 companies, regional businesses, large family-owned businesses and I’ve never found one in those 400 plus companies where having an attitude of it’s all about the bottom line, you’ve got to earn everything has worked long term. It will work for 36 months, 48 months, it will work for 10 years. It won’t work for decades. The first reason is people tend to think what they see in the media in terms of television and film, and even what they might read in some of the great books that deal with Wall Street is that this is the way people are. That’s a minority.

Barry Banther: The second reason I think they think that is because in their own lives they’ve never seen the value of others, just others, simply others. Other people. What’s the value in being able to look at someone else and make the choice that I’m gonna consider you a person of value. Before every major civilization began to fail, there was an open and obvious turn inward to I want to get whatever I can get, get all I can and sit on the lid. The second reason besides the media is that people I don’t think are really prepared. They don’t understand the value of it.

Barry Banther: The third part is their own personal sense of lack of self worth. If I don’t value myself very much, then how can I possibly value someone else? The greatest admonition regardless of whether you are a person of faith or not was given by Christ, Jesus Christ, when he said this, that this is the great commandment to love the Lord your God but then to love your neighbor as whom? As yourself.

Barry Banther: In order for me to love my neighbor in a way that’s valuable and appropriate and respectful, I’ve got to value myself. First of all, I think it’s the media impressions. Secondly, I think it’s the fact that they’ve just not been prepared but thirdly, a lot of people try to get into corporate life and corporate management and they suffer from severe self esteem issues that keep them from treating other people with respect.

Mike Domitrz: That’s brilliant insight. Barry, I think a potential fourth one there that you look at our country and the world as a whole, most companies that start up fail in the first five years. There’s many reasons they fail, but a lot of those reasons are management related. You have entrepreneurs who don’t know how to manage. A lot of people have bad experiences with management. They’ve had bad managers who did think, “Hey, you’re a robot in my machine, and if you don’t operate according to the instructions I give, you’re a bad employee,” and they’ve experienced that personally, so they find it hard to fathom that things can be profitable and caring.

Barry Banther: There’s a medical clinic located in Florida, founded by Dr. James Gills, St. Luke’s Cataract and Intraocular Lens Institute. They’ve done more cataract surgeries and lens implants than any other facility in the world, royalty from Europe, business people from South America, they’ve flown around the world to come to this little community in Florida had have a pretty routine surgery. The theme of that facility, what the founder said was their purpose and what he trained every employee to do, and we were grateful they were our client for about 25 years until the owner retired, this was the theme, excellence with love. He believed in treating employees that way and treating your patients that way and if you did that, they would reward you.

Barry Banther: You’re exactly right. When businesses fail, it’s rarely because their product failed. It’s the way they’ve managed the business, the way they’ve developed or didn’t develop people, that led to their failure, not the actual product or service they provided because many of those products and services are still being provided by other people. They were able to find that they had to show that kind of respect, the one that failed didn’t.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah. I think this is so brilliant for our listeners to consider right now. We have a lot of listeners from the education market, from the military market, and from the corporate market, and a lot of people hear this and go, “Oh, either my management is or isn’t doing that,” but I want people to pause and go, “How am I? How am I creating a culture of respect with those I’m working with right along me right now today in the work environment I’m in? Those I’m responsible for leading. How am I creating a culture of respect for those who are in charge of leading me? How am I creating that safe space?”

Barry Banther: And you can do this regardless of your position. I’m gonna tell you a story without revealing the company because I don’t have their permission, but they are a Fortune 50 company, and almost 30 years ago I was hired as a very young consultant to help about 30 engineers develop a different way to communicate with a major airplane manufacturer that they were in the process of building a brand new aircraft with.

Barry Banther: So when I arrived in this Midwestern city to begin six months of helping these engineers improve how they communicate, my first meeting was in a windowless room in the bottom of a huge building. These engineers had been told why I was coming and so they welcomed me with a huge banner in the back of the room that said, “Welcome to Barry’s Charm School.” That was how they felt about what we were about to do. I spent the next six months with them helping them learn how to listen, helping them learn how to show appreciation, helping them learn how to communicate, helping them learn how to demonstrate respect for themselves and for their associates.

Barry Banther: Well, I was thrilled that at the end it worked, the new aircraft flew and it was a great project and great experience. I didn’t think anything else about it and almost a decade passed and I received a letter from this corporation and I thought, “Well, this is just some sort of form letter.” I opened it up and it said, “Dear Barry, you may not remember me, but I was in your charm school,” and he said, “I’ve just been named the president of the company.” He said, “I couldn’t wait to find out why I was chosen. I thought it might have been my second doctorate dissertation I did at MIT. To my amazement,” he said, “The committee told me I was selected from all of my peers because in the last five years I had developed a reputation for bringing out the best in people.” His last sentence in that letter to me, “I give up, Barry. You were right.”

Barry Banther: It’s not that I was right, the principles are right. The principles of treating other people the way you would want to be treated, showing them respect, bringing out the best in them. If you’ve got a chance to have extraordinary exponential growth, that’s where it’s gonna come from and I’ve seen that manifest in life time and time again.

Mike Domitrz: That’s a beautiful example. I appreciate you sharing that. Thank you. Let’s say that it’s not going right, that you see a business associate who’s treating others with disrespect. What is your number one approach or helpful strategy for dealing with those moments, where you see a business associate being disrespectful?

Barry Banther: If I’m dealing with … if I’ve been tasked to work with a manager or an owner or a C suite person who is showing disrespect, in my very first meeting with them, which I don’t really call that a coaching session, it’s a communication session. Here’s the first thing I say to them, “It’s been reported that you’re having difficulty with your associates and it’s being reported to me that you’re going to have to improve that in order to keep your job. Why do you think this is happening?” I listen.

Barry Banther: I have to demonstrate to them respect because they’ve probably made the assumption they’ve hired Barry to come in here and whack me about the head and tell me what to do. I have to demonstrate to them in that first session, second session, third session that I will listen to them, that I will ask questions, that I will show them respect, that if I disagree it will be done in a way that’s not disagreeable, and typically, Mike, what happens by about the second or third session, they will look at me and say in other words I need to kind of learn how to communicate the way you’re communicating with me, and I say, “Exactly. Are you ready to start doing that? Let’s look at how we can do that.”

Barry Banther: Then I walk them through, again, this five simple things I want them to learn, and if you can imagine the word clear that we can all remember. The first thing is create openness. You’ve got to create openness with the people you lead. You’ve got to get to know who they are, like Herb Kelleher did. You gotta know their name. Know something about them beyond the work they do. That’s the C.

Barry Banther: L, you’ve got to listen, and to listen with empathy. Listen to be understood as Steven Covey taught us. The third thing, the E in CLEAR, you’ve got to encourage feedback. You’ve got to be able to say to them “How am I doing?” Don’t be afraid to let the people you lead evaluate you. Marshall Goldsmith has said that once your employees know, once the people that report to you know that you’re trying to improve in something, they’ll step up and help you improve. They’re pleased you’re trying to do that.

Barry Banther: So create openness, listen with empathy, encourage feedback. The A is appreciation. You’ve got to be able to look at that person and very simply say, “Here’s the strength I see in you and here’s an example of it.” Mike, I’m gonna use you as an example. I’m gonna give you genuine appreciation and I’m gonna flatter and let’s see if our listeners can tell the difference. Here’s the first one. Mike, of all the people in NSA who are on platforms around the world, you’re one of the best. That’s the first one. Here’s the second example. Mike, here’s the strength I see in you. Your concern and compassion for your audience goes far beyond the stage. For example, in putting this podcast together, we’ve had some technical difficulties, and you’ve worked with me over and over to make sure that we get it right and you’ve been very patient with me. That’s a great strength I see in you. Now which of those is flattery, which of those is a genuine strength centered appreciation? It’s obvious, it’s the latter one.

Barry Banther: But Mike, something else happened and I don’t want our listeners to lose this. Let’s back up to what I just did. Not only did I just show you appreciation, but I taught you how to treat me. For example, suppose I’m privileged to do another program like this with you and you think of my name, well then in that computer in your brain, the file’s gonna pop up the Barry Banther file and you’re gonna hear in your head Barry believes I have great compassion for my audience and I worked patiently with him to solve the technical issues, and guess what? You’re gonna be patient with me again the next time.

Barry Banther: I believe it’s true, at work we teach people how to treat us by the thoughts that we put in their head. The most important words anyone ever hears are the words they say to themselves when no one else is around. So your employees, do they hear appreciation for the specific things you do so you can repeat them, or do they hear words like, “You can’t ever get it right. Why did we hire you? You’re on thin ice here,”? Which words do they hear? Well the words they hear will determine what they do. In the ancient book of Proverbs, whatever a man or woman thinks determines what they do.

Barry Banther: Then the final letter in CLEAR, the R, is regular communication. You can’t do this once a year for an annual review. You’ve got to be creating openness, listening with empathy, encouraging feedback, showing appreciation regularly because I’ve never seen a team rise above their leader. They’re gonna perform in relationship to how well you lead them and you lead them when you use these five rights of respect we talked about and in these tools that I just gave you on how you as a leader can step in there.

Barry Banther: When I’m coaching someone to get better at this, I’m gonna demonstrate it to them and then at some point I’m gonna give them an opportunity to learn these five principles.

Mike Domitrz: I love it. It’s powerful. It’s an easy formula for people to be able to implement right away in their lives and I love the way you give examples throughout this discussion we’re having right now, Barry, because it’s just beautiful for people to hear the difference in the example you gave there, the flattery versus the sincerity, that authenticity, it’s great. It brings it home for all of our listeners so thank you for that.

Barry Banther: Sure.

Mike Domitrz: Absolutely. Now, when it comes to respect in the workplace, we often hear that it’s better to be assertive than to be kind. Sort of the old statement in the dating world in heteronormative language, they’ll say things like the bad boy is the one who gets the women, and they have the same concept in the business world, the tough hard-nose is gonna win over the soft-hearted. How do you respond to that, because that deals with almost be disrespectful, run people over to get what you want?

Barry Banther: Sure. Let’s look at the word assertive. The word

Barry Banther: The word assertive doesn’t mean to be aggressive. So, here’s how … and I mean this sincerely. It’s going to sound a bit tongue in cheek. Yes, I want you to be assertive. I want you to be assertive in creating openness. I want you everyday being assertive out there creating open … I want you to be assertive in listening to people. I want you to be assertive in encouraging feedback.

Barry Banther: Be assertive in those things that are going to cause people to willingly follow your lead. To willingly listen to you. So your assertiveness is not in telling people what to do. Your assertiveness is in building someone who’s able to do that job themselves.

Barry Banther: So yes, be assertive. Just be assertive to those things that will make a lasting difference.

Mike Domitrz: I love that. What I think is important for us to consider. And I used to say this when I talked with students, when working in schools. There’s a difference in aggressive and assertive. A lot of times people take them as the same word. Aggressive brings a different energy, an overpowering energy. Versus assertive is a, “I believe in what I’m doing. There’s a why behind what I’m doing.”

Mike Domitrz: There’s a very big difference in those two view points.

Barry Banther: If we are assertive in demonstrating our desire to help others, that’s going to reap enormous benefits for us. If we are assertive in getting our way, our own self interests, the that’s going to be a barren, barren harvest.

Mike Domitrz: What if you’ve been the one who’s disrespected someone? Which we all have. I think one of the problems sometimes when people listen to you and I is they’ll think what, “These two have never disrespected someone?” Of course, I have, that’s for sure.

Barry Banther: Of course.

Mike Domitrz: So, how do you correct that when that happens?

Barry Banther: So, I’ll start with my family first. My older son was dual enrolled as a college senior and enrolled in community college. Now, today he’s the managing partner of our firm. He’s the vice mayor of our town. He’s an extraordinary man, I’m very proud of him. He’s the father of my grand-daughters.

Barry Banther: But go all the way back to being a senior in high school. I was having a problem in our home with a new lawn we had put down. The sprinkler wasn’t working, the recycled water wasn’t working. I’m out there about dusk in my suit, pulling hoses across the yard. Trying to get the water going.

Barry Banther: He comes home from class, and he gets out of his truck. He’s got his head down. I said, “What’s wrong with you?” In that tone of voice. He said, “Well, I think I’ve failed an algebra test.” At that moment, he become the sprinkler. He became the lack of rain. He became all my problems. I unloaded on him. He didn’t say a word. I kind of railed on him, “You’ve got to study. What do you think you’re doing? You’re wasting your money, you’re wasting our money.”

Barry Banther: When he got to the door I stopped him. I said, “David, wait, wait. What do you want from me?” I’ll never forget what he said Mike. He looked at me and he said, “Dad, I would like some of that stuff that you teach other people to do for others.” I could have crawled under my lawn. In other words, “Dad, show me the kind of respect that you teach other people to show in the workplace.” So, what you have to do is admit it.

Barry Banther: With my family, I’ve had to learn to admit and say, “I’ve not been doing this very well.” With my sons, I use two questions. Question number one, how am I doing showing you respect? Being kind, giving you a good model? They would always say, “Oh dad, don’t ask the question.” I’d say, “Come on, give me a score.” They would say, “On a scale of one to 10, you’re doing a seven.” It doesn’t matter what the score is. The second question’s powerful. What can I do to get my score to a 10?

Barry Banther: So, that’s how I’ve done it with my family. With my employees, you have to be willing to admit you’re wrong. In my opinion, you are never more influential with someone than when you can look at them with sincerity and admit you were wrong in how you treated them, many, many times. Sometimes with customers and clients, I’ve had to say, “I owe you an apology. My tone of voice, what I said, it was wrong.” I don’t hedge it. I don’t say, “If I hurt you, if I offended you.” I say, “I know I offended you. What I said was wrong. I’m sorry.”

Barry Banther: Mike, I’m no longer a young man. Never in my life have I said that to someone that they looked at me and said, “Go away. Starve to death. Die alone in the dark. I don’t care about you.” To the contrary. Every time I’ve humbled myself and done that, they have embraced me and my life, and I hope their life has been better.

Mike Domitrz: There’s such great questions that you gave there for family. It’s powerful, right? It’s just so simple. A simple concept of how am I doing, and how do I get that score up? It’s so easy to implement. I think that’s what’s beautiful. It’s not just theory. It’s something somebody can implement right away.

Mike Domitrz: Barry, do you feel there’s shades of respect?

Barry Banther: Oh sure, sure. One of the things that I have to work … this is something that I have to work at. I’ll be very transparent with you. I can, because of my age, because of my background … I grew up in a very poor part of Appalachia. First member of my family to go to college. I can have a sense of discrimination against someone that won’t be apparent to start with, and it will hinder the way I respect them. So, I have to really be very introspective from time to time. And say, “Barry, are you showing this person the full respect they need? Or just enough to get by?” So, you have to check yourself. We all have hidden bias.

Barry Banther: Our friend and NSA, Dr. Helen Turnbull has written tremendous … done tremendous work, written great books on this. So my hidden bias will cause me, not to be totally disrespectful. But not as respectful as I could be. So I think there’s that shade of respect. Then we have to be careful in the other extreme. That we don’t turn respect into manipulating someone. That we’re simply overly doing our respect, because we’re trying to get something from them. So it’s an everyday journey. It’s a balance everyday.

Mike Domitrz: Yeah. What I like about that is, I think we all … the first example you gave of bias, we all have that, right? That unconscious bias. Are we open to understanding that we could do harm, whether intentional or not. Because people go, “Well, I didn’t intend it.” That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Whether you intended it or not. We all are part of that journey. It’s actually healthy to look in the mirror and go, “I struggle with that too.”

Barry Banther: Exactly.

Mike Domitrz: Barry, you’ve been wonderful here. There’s four books that you really recommend people read. One is yours, ‘A Leader’s Gift: How To Earn The Right To Be Followed’. Another is ‘Return On Integrity’ by John Bloomberg. Another is ‘No Matter What’ by our mutual, dear friend, Sam Silverstein. Then the book of Philippians by the Apostle, Paul.

Mike Domitrz: Why these four books?

Barry Banther: Well, first of all, the very first one, ‘Return On Integrity’, and this has just been launched as a corporate book in the beginning of 2019. I think John’s done the best job of putting into position. What it means at work, to have the kind of integrity that will show respect. He really does a great job of showing what the ROI is, with a little bit of tongue and cheek. It’s a return on integrity. It’s the return on investment of integrity. So, I think that’s very important.

Barry Banther: Sam obviously has been the leader, I think, in the last many years on the kind of authenticity and accountability it takes. Work and respect is a big part of accountability. Some of the illustrations I just used today are in my book, ‘A Leader’s Gift’ and the subtitle’s what’s important, How To Earn The Right To Be Followed. The book of Philippians because of a verse that occurs in the very beginning. “Have this thought in you. To put another person’s interests on the same par of your own.” Respect means I value you, as much as a human, as I value myself.

Barry Banther: So, those four books … there are many more, but I think those four would be a great place to build your library with the kind of tools that will help you be a person who gets a return on your investment of respect for other people.

Mike Domitrz: Barry, you have been so wonderful in giving us simple concepts with steps and skills. The five signs of respect everybody deserves. Actually, the five ways everybody deserves to be treated, it’s beautiful. Then the clear formula, is so simple for us to follow. What I love about all of these, and I think this is always when you know you have something in alignment with respect. Is, you can apply them to every facet of your life. It doesn’t have to be work. It could be your family. It could be your personal relationships. It could be your own sense with yourself. But, they apply everywhere and that’s what makes it beautiful.

Barry Banther: Well, Mike. I am so grateful that I can be part of this. Grateful for the work you’ve done in Date Safe Project, and really excited that you’re now taking the same principles of respect and applying them where we all live, and that’s in the marketplace. Thank you for doing this.

Mike Domitrz: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you so much Barry. For our listeners, you know what’s coming next. That is the question of the week.

Mike Domitrz: Before I answer this week’s question of the week. I’d love to ask you a question. Would you please subscribe to this podcast? The Respect podcast with Mike Domitrz. By subscribing, you could make a huge impact. Now, you might be wondering, “Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact?” Well, here’s how. For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show on the search engines. So, for people who care about respect, like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcasts, they’re more likely to find this show. Thus, providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. All you do is hit subscribe under your podcast.

Mike Domitrz: Plus, the second benefit is, by subscribing, you automatically get every episode right into your phone, or whatever device you’re listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically. So, subscribing also makes your life easier.

Mike Domitrz: Now, let’s get into this week’s question of the week. Oh, and by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week, by joining us on Facebook in our discussion group. It’s called The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Go there on Facebook, and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer, and or address, in this segment of the show. Listen to each episode to find out when your question is included.

Mike Domitrz: This week’s question of the week is, “Mike, in the workplace how do I help others understand that what’s happening to each other, to our colleagues, matters? It is part of our business. That’s not gossip, that’s caring for others. How do I help them understand?”

Mike Domitrz: Well, what you want to do is, you want to engage in conversation, because just telling them, “Hey, you should care about them.” Makes them feel like you’re telling me what to do. Even though I may agree with that normally, I’m going to push back because I’m being told what to think, or what to say. So instead I want to engage in conversation.

Mike Domitrz: I would start with this simple question. Do you believe that every human being deserves a basic level of dignity and respect? Most people answer yes to that question. Once they answer yes to that, you say, “Well, that would then mean everyone in our organization, correct?” They say yes. “So if somebody’s not being treated with dignity and respect, that would mean that that’s a problem for our entire organization, because everyone in the organization deserves that.” That’s how you engage how the individual matters. Every individual matters. We need to care for every individual, treat every individual with dignity and respect, at all times.

Mike Domitrz: Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. So, would you please answer what your answer would have been if you were asked that question today on the show. All you do is go to our Facebook page. We have a special group where we have these discussions called, The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. So, The Respect Podcast Discussion Group, and share with us, what would your answer have been to this week’s question of the week and take moment, post us a new question for future episodes. What question would you like to hear me answer on an upcoming episode.

Mike Domitrz: That’s all done on Facebook in our special group, which is The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Can’t wait to see you there.

Mike Domitrz: Thank you for joining us for this episode of The Respect Podcast. Which was sponsored by The Dave Safe Project at Remember, you can always find me at


Mike Domitrz, CSP

Mike Domitrz, CSP

Speaker, Author, and Authority on Respect Culture For almost 3 decades, leading institutions around the world and the US Military have been turning to Mike for helping them transform their culture. To have Mike help your organization ignite this vital and necessary conversation, call 833-801-0247 or email