When Patrick Donahoe started with the U.S. postal service, he was a 20-year-old clerk. Today, he’s the U.S. Postmaster General.
Donahoe tells the Wall Street Journal that lessons he learned in those early years still stick with him. The most important ones, he says, are to treat people well and be honest with them at all times.
As a low-level employee, Donahoe said he received mixed treatment. “Some people treated you well, some people treated you like you were the hired help,” he recalls.
Donahoe believes the golden rule should still apply in the workplace — treat others the way you want to be treated. He says that’s especially important because the way employees are treated tends to carry over to their interactions with customers.
As for communication, Donahoe insists that the most important thing a manager can do is “level” with employees.
“Communicating with people, letting them know exactly what’s going on, is critical,” he says. “If you tell people the truth and level with them on everything, they’ll respect you for that. And you never have to worry about who you told what.”
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