The Importance of Status

Ronan in the book Flash Boys took a pay cut from $486,000/yr to $125,000/yr because the new place treated him like an equal in status, even though they paid him less, while the other position paid him much more, but treated him as lower in status.

It’s important in dealing with people to realize how important status is to us. Humans in particular compared to other animals in the animal kingdom have much more flexibility in this regard. In the animal kingdom, you’re alpha or you aren’t. There isn’t all that much wiggle room.

As people we have much more flexibility.

We can treat a customer as if they are royalty.

We can give serious weight to an idea that doesn’t come from an executive.

We can elevate people doing great things for their community even if they don’t have money.

Status is essentially respect. In our society, especially some of the wealthiest in the world, they feel their money gets them that respect. And it very well might, but my point about Ronan taking that massive pay cut proves that money isn’t a pre-requisite to status. There isn’t a way to guarantee that you receive status, you are always free to give it to others by listening, understanding what they have to say, taking their ideas and advice into consideration and treating them as an equal.