You want to lead your team by example. You want them to know that you wouldn’t ask them to do anything that you would not do yourself. One of the ways entrepreneurs get stuck is by believing they need to do the work they should be paying someone else to do.
There is no reason to live with a dirty bathroom. Someone has to clean it. But that someone shouldn’t be you. What you need to clean up are the biggest, nastiest, foulest problems your business is facing, and it’s unlikely your bathroom rises to that level.
What Really Needs to be Cleaned Up
- If you want to set an example, your team needs to see you tackling the biggest customer challenge, the issue that you can’t easily resolve, and one where the outcome is going to be difficult to obtain. Your team isn’t likely to relish the challenge of tackling a tricky customer issue where there is much on the line. The example you set by always engaging in difficult conversations sets the standard.
- As your company grows, your success leads to newer and more difficult challenges. These challenges show up as service failures, bottlenecks, and strategic problems. To grow (and create even bigger challenges), you have to make the changes and decisions that improve service, remove obstacles, and adjust your strategy. You set the right example for your team by showing them that the right answer is to be smart and resourceful in solving the problems that need your attention.
- More than anything, your company needs growth. An entrepreneur leads that growth. That requires you to engage in client acquisition, sales leadership, and other sales and marketing activities. “Selling” isn’t easy work, but it is critical to growth. The example you set here is that your organization is going to focus on sales and clients.
The Work Only You Can Do
Anyone can clean the bathrooms. While it’s a nice gesture, it takes you away from your real work. You are better off paying someone else to clean the bathrooms, or whatever it is that you do instead of the work that requires you to take deliberate actions and make tough decisions.
Te real example you set by cleaning the bathroom, or whatever you do that allows you to avoid the difficult work that needs your attention, you teach your team to do the same. Instead, prepare them to deal with the bigger, more important stuff, delegating work where you are not the primary value creator.