Let’s take a simple test together. True or false?
A leader directs all tasks in a company, from top to bottom.
It is a leader’s job to manage and delegate.
A leader can’t lead and worry about smaller jobs and duties.
A leader should only work with top management and let them worry about those they supervise.
A leader doesn’t worry about employees and their lives.
A leader stays in their office; it’s all about the appearance of management and being the “boss.”
A few true, a few false? Nope. All false.
Actually, most successful leaders are involved in everything. They know their employees; they practice empathy; they get hands-on in all departments to understand the company and the customers and the business. And they don’t lock themselves up in the corner office.
Odds are you know this but, what if you took it a step farther in the new year? This year (like now), get involved in the odd jobs, the small tasks that take employees away from they could be doing to help your small business be successful.
Have you ever asked your admin or another employee to leave and pick up lunch for the office? Are you so small that employees have to help clean the office, maybe even the office bathroom and kitchen? Does one of your employees have to take time away from their project to pick up office supplies? And don’t even begin to tell me you ask one of these people to pick up your dry cleaning or other personal tasks.
These are people that you hired for their skills, whether it be receptionist, administration, accounting, marketing, design, or something else. When you assign jobs like cleaning the kitchen or bathroom, you are taking these people away from what they do best AND what you hired them to do. When an employee has to stop what they are doing to go pick up lunch or coffee for others, they can’t do their job. And your business suffers.
Your job as the leader is, most likely, to drum up new business and come up with fresh ideas to keep growing and innovating. This news may come as a shock to some, but you can do just that while you are driving to get lunch or cleaning a toilet. Heck, some of my best ideas come while sitting in traffic with no distractions other than the car in front of me.
When you are trying to build a company and succeed, there should be no job beneath you. And when you have ‘boots on the ground’ with your people, it motivates them to work that much harder for the common goal of success. Answer the phones, walk the floor, help pack the product, and yes, clean the bathroom.
Help your people do their jobs and be the best they can be. It’s like Mister Rogers always used to say, “Always look for the helpers.” Be the helper.
Those are the true leaders in our world.