Introducing Respect

By Jeff Dickerson

  In all of our business lines, we have spent more than a decade dedicating ourselves to earning the respect of our clients, partners, colleagues, and other industry stakeholders.  That has been accomplished by the quality of our work, but perhaps more importantly, it has been accomplished by our willingness to give respect to others.  We will now begin to proudly and publicly recognize that reality.  Respect will be the heart of our company’s value statement, and it will help lead and guide the missions of our business divisions.

Spire’s new respect logo will be proudly displayed in all aspects of our business.  We’ll put it on the walls of our offices.  We’ll print it on apparel and stickers.  We’ll include it on our race cars and drivers, at our promoted motorsports events, and on the ice.  We’ll incorporate it into our email signatures, websites, social media activity, and our pitches.  The constant presence of the respect logo will be a daily reminder of who we are and who we want to be.  It will serve as our North Star.   

Our new respect logo plays on opposites and diversity coming together for common cause and accomplishment (represented by the contrasting colors black and white).  The spacing of the logo represents our boldness, our wide reach, and it also implies the significance of taking the time to spell out the word and its meaning.  Let’s take a moment to take a closer look.

What is “respect,” and why is it important?  It is certainly not my intent to get preachy or technical right off the bat. Still, I believe that my obligation as the author of this type of post compels me to start by providing dictionary definitions and the historical origin of the word.  

Dating back to the late 14th century and originating from the Latin “respicere,” the word contemplates an appreciation of history and reflection.  It presumes regard and consideration as part of the “act of looking back (or often)” at oneself (i.e., re “back” + specere “look at”).

Notwithstanding any odds that others may have published to the contrary over the years, Spire has begun its second decade of business.  So what do we see when we look back at ourselves?  There is no doubt that we have accomplished a lot with a little.  We stood firm in the face of diversity.  We survived challenging markets.  We diversified, we grew, and we pivoted.  We can look back, and we can be proud.  And more importantly, we can look forward and be optimistic.

Our respect has been hard-earned by each and every one of us.  But the equation does not end there.  To survive, respect must not only be earned, it must also be given.  Respect falls squarely in the gravitational pull of the law of reciprocity.  You have all undoubtedly heard of this universal law, which provides that the more that you give, the more that you receive.  Some have referred to it as the most powerful law of human nature.  At the risk of sounding cliché . . . Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Children are told about sharing, giving, and helping others, and how doing so will help them grow and mature as individuals.  But giving to receive sometimes seems counterintuitive, and being selfless and giving without any expectation of getting anything in return is not easy.

Respect does not come naturally; instead, it is learned.  By learning and demonstrating respect, we have a fantastic opportunity to be positive contributors to our communities and make a difference in the life of others.  It is an opportunity that should motivate and inspire us.  It is also a means to both personal and professional prosperity.
We value respect.  And our missions are the product of that value.  The words and deeds of our people are expressions of respect in support of those missions.  Today, and every day moving forward, we invite you to recommit to our respect-based missions.

Respect By Division

Why should we value respect?  Frankly, it’s because there isn’t enough of it in this world.  That’s not a political statement; it is a reality.  Respect in relationships builds feelings of trust, safety, and wellbeing . . . all things in short supply these days.  But perhaps the best part is that giving respect does not cost anything.  So, let us all join the fight to make the world a more trusting and dignified place . . . one interaction at a time.

As you navigate your daily lives, we ask that you remain mindful of this value statement.  Take steps to make sure your words match your actions.  As it relates to our interactions with each other, how we treat our clients, and how we deal with adversity and help others deal with adversity, let respect be our guide.  We will continue to surprise ourselves, and the impact we make will continue to surprise others.

We embrace our role as underdog.  We want to earn our accolades.   We are not looking for handouts or the easy path.  We earn, and we give.  
Our power and influence will exceed our footprint.  We will all rally, support, encourage, participate, and contribute.  We will also recognize that mistakes will happen, but they will be our path to growth and improvement.  Fear will not control us.

We will not be bashful in this campaign.  Earning and giving respect will be a measured key performance indicator for all employees.

We look forward to your enthusiastic support.  Let the official launch of this respect initiative represent not only a renewed beginning, but also a signal of the start of the next chapter of the Spire novel.

We are proud and thankful to have you on our team.  We have already made great strides in contributing to our communities, but this is just the beginning.  You deserve respect.  And so do our colleagues, clients, and competitors.  This is bigger than us.  But it requires all of us.

Respect. Spell it out. Period.