He shouldn’t have done that--he’s the executive director!
It was the summer of 1995. My parents joined me as I headed to my first job after college. As full-time staff on a family owned, Columbus-area retreat center, room & board was included with the package. We had a great time visiting with the executive director, and then saw where I would be living while working there. Let’s just say that the two young men who were living there at the time did not value cleanliness or organization anywhere near the way I did! My parents were even more shocked, and openly stated their concern to the director. Not only did he have the boys “clean up their act”, but he grabbed a toilet brush and cleaned the entire bathroom himself.
He shouldn’t have done that; he’s the executive director after all! But that’s what servant leaders do. Rather than urging employees to do something they may never do, these inspirational leaders encourage their team members to do what they have done themselves. “Go there” versus “Come with me!” I have been privileged to work with leaders like this throughout my career, and I’m proud to serve alongside one now--they walk the talk. Working alongside your team will encourage them to accomplish far more than telling them what to do from afar. Be the leader who serves and you will fulfill the timeless axiom: they don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.