When I was young, my Dad told my sister’s and I a story about how he had been looking to hire some new guys to help out on a construction job, and the trick he used to make sure he got the guys that were willing to work hard and get it done: he placed a broom on the sidewalk outside of his office door. If the guy picked up the broom and either brought it inside, or leaned it up against the building, he was hired.
The point is simple: if you want to get the work done you hire people who are not afraid of doing the work. It’s also a test of your own leadership skill – would YOU have picked up the broom?
It gets so easy to say “not my job” when there’s lots to do. We give ourselves the excuse to not get involved, or to pass it on to someone else. But if you are the kind of leader that picks up the broom, then others will see you do this and learn from it. It will teach them to not make excuses but to dive in and get the work done too.
Being a great leader is not about just being good at telling others what to do. It’s about showing you CARE about the work to be done, so much so that you’ll pitch in to help too. Showing people you care about the work they do, the work that your company or organization does, the people your product or services helps, THIS is how you lead. You’ll create a passion for the work to be done! Everyone will want to work hard because everyone will see how important that work is.
On a construction site, everybody knows safety is number one. If the leader shows he CARES about the safety, others will follow. So, if there’s something on the sidewalk that could trip up someone and hurt them – you pick it up.
What’s the most important thing that your company or organization needs done? How do you show your team that you care about it?
And, as a nugget to chew on some more, what if we all took a moment to pick something up? To pitch in when it’s not expected of us? I shared my Dad’s story at a conference recently in North Dakota and the next day someone shared with me how she had been walking down the hall to her hotel room and saw a broom laying on the floor, remembered my story, and picked it up. Sharing her story, she was smiling. It was a good memory! WHAT IF… we all did this, took that moment, picked it up? Imagine the good feelings that would fill the world!
What can you pick up? (Share!)