If my dad was still alive, today would be his 80th birthday; his and his identical twin brother's birthdays. It's been a little over 8 years since he left this world, and I still think about him all the time. I often wonder how certain things he said have changed in my mind over the years.

One interesting statement is something I quoted in a post I wrote back in 2009 titled Don't Forget About The Other Side. I wrote that post days after President Obama had been elected president as the euphoria of the day was wearing off and I'd come to the realization that he hadn't been elected by that large a margin and that, in reality, there were a very high number of people who weren't happy that he was there, for whatever reason they had, and they were going to be quite vocal about it.

On that post I alluded to something Dad always used to say to me, that being that one should always view management as their enemy and proceed from there. I'd always thought it was an extreme position, but I'm starting to wonder more and more if he might have had the right idea on things.

I keep hearing about people working in what they perceive as hostile environments. They go to management to try to complain and are either ignored, disciplined, threatened or even fired for causing trouble. We are in a period of time when it's not great being an employee because, with high unemployment, management and C-level executives seem to feel that if they get rid of you they can easily get someone else in who will acquiesce to whatever their whims are and be quiet about it.

And they may not be wrong. Recently both Wall Street and the banking industry have announced large job cuts. Back in 2009 there was a period of time when job cuts were in the high 5-figures on a monthly basis. Even now, though there has been some recovery, there are a whole lot of people who still haven't found jobs from that time period, or are working for thousands less than what they were previously making. No wonder there's all these "Occupy" protests going on.

Last week I wrote a post asking Why Managers Treat Employees Badly, and I missed a reason; because they can. Unfortunately, when someone who has no clue what they're doing is given the keys to the candy shop, they often run ramshod any way they can, not caring what the consequences might be as long as they don't think they can get in trouble. And their behavior towards employees when finally called on it is often manifested by yelling, retaliation, bullying and, well, you throw a word in.

So, if my dad was right, how would you then handle your business differently? We tend to treat those we view as enemies in a much different fashion. We never trust them, and therefore we don't give them our best. We don't tell them anything unless we absolutely have to, so if things go bad, we feel that it couldn't have happened to a better person. We may not go out of our way to sabotage things, but we're ready to gloat when we know it's coming.

That doesn't help the company at all, and in my opinion it's management's fault. Never has the statement on "treating others as you want to be treated" been more truthful. In the long run people tend to get what they deserve; as a leader, what have you decided you deserve from others, and how do you really believe you can get it?

If you think being hard on people is the way to go, well, you get what you give; that's all I'm saying.