Some time ago I touched the subject of respect in the software development business. Yesterday I had the chance to talk with one of the persons working at a client of mine. Beside of holding the respectful position of VP QA (the company is of medium size) the guy also allocate one day a week to maintain an IT business he once had which currently has a single client. After talking about how he ended up in this kind of arrangement, an obvious question for me was why does he keep on doing it. Isn't the fuss of handling a single customer to big to be worth the time?
The answer I got was:
Working for that client puts me in perspective. once a week i get the chance to function as a plain technician. This gives me the opportunity to get on my knees and work with the bits the bytes.
For me this is the essence of humility (which is a corner stone for respect), although the guy has attained the "big boss" status, he understand that there's more to it then just management, and in order for him to excel at his work he needs to get down as close as he can to the daily work the people working for him do.
I salute you!
On the other extreme, a previous boss of mine once told me that he was advised (and agreed to) to treat every hour of his work as costing 2000$ (no, this was not the guy salary). The reasoning behind this that being so high on the food chain he should not waste his time.
For me this kind of attitude puts you on the opposite scale. Saying such a thing comes as close as you can (without actually saying it) to "I'm worth more then you are" or more simply "I'm better then you are". This is just being rude.
I wonder how would that guy take an advice that goes: "Unless you generate 2000$ profit for the company per hour, your not doing your job"