Among the top ways to diss someone is to insult their mother. Along the lines of – Your mother’s so stupid that when she saw the “Under 17 not allowed” sign at the movie theater, she went home and got 16 friends. But that’s for the old school set. Now there’s digital age dissing. This includes gathering a group of friends and standing around someone’s Second Life avatar, laughing at them. However, whether old school or digital age, disrespect is wrong and counter-productive in the business environment. And there is an “ism” ascribed to it – Rankism.
Rankism is the “abuse of power that comes with rank.” “Rankism is a battle between somebodies and nobodies.” Even more, it could be a barrier to success. So says Dr. Robert W. Fuller who coined the word Rankism. He would like the world to be free of rankist behavior. Dr. Fuller believes that dignity is an idea whose time has come and it should not only be practiced, it should be promoted. He is behind an entire movement against rankism. True leaders don’t sneer, mock or act in condescending ways, says he. True leaders recognize the contribution of all involved in a given venture.
Like ageism, sexism, classism and any number of unwanted “isms,” rankism probably causes schisms when it is left unchecked. Meanwhile, Dr. Fuller notes that rank and rankism are different things. Rank exists in various forms throughout the human and animal worlds. And when earned, he admits, it is a measure of expertise. While rank can be a useful tool in an organization, rankism can cause much suffering. It could be said that rankism comes from those who don’t rank – or does it?
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