Man pictured as bossWhat’s your style when it comes to your employees? That might seem like a strange question, isn’t it supposed to be straightforward? You’re the boss, they’re the employees, they do as you say, right?

Well maybe in a perfect world but according to leadership expert John Maxwell, that’s called level one leadership. Also, know as position leadership, you are followed because of your position.

Is there a better way? Of course, there is! It’s known as servant leadership and it has made a huge difference in my approach to dealing with people. For many years, I was always surprised when an employee did not follow my direction.

I was the boss, that’s it, no questions asked. I had never really learned about leadership and had no interest, l thought it was clear, do what I say or else. There are plenty of bosses that act like that, in the cleaning business it will get you nowhere fast.

Let’s be honest here for a minute, good cleaners can be hard to come by. If you treat someone poorly they will have no problem finding another cleaning job.

So what’s the answer, do you just let people walk all over you and kiss up to them? No! It’s about influence, do they follow you because they have to or because they want to? Let’s hope it’s because they want to.

The picture I included with this blog speaks more words than I could write. If you want to be an effective leader, you need to be at the front of the pack pulling your weight. You will earn the respect of those on your team.

I want to tell you a secret- I don’t really like to clean anymore. I’ve been doing it since the tenth grade and my body doesn’t always feel great after a night of cleaning. I don’t have large crews like I used to, but when I did, I would show up and spend a few hours with my cleaning uniform on.

I would learn more in those few hours than in any ‘company meeting’. I could see first hand any problems or challenges my staff was facing. They also respected me more. Yes, they saw me plenty of nights in my dress pants and suit coat, not there to clean.

But on the nights when I cleaned with them, they appreciated it. It helps build morale and it lets people know you can relate to them. I remember hearing a story about the founder of a large company.

He had hundreds of employees but spent most of his time isolated in the corporate offices. He decided he would take one day a week to walk around the facility and interact with the employees. What a difference it made!

Most business owners dream of managing the company while they have their toes in the sand somewhere, sipping a cold beverage. There’s nothing wrong with taking time off but absentee ownership is not very effective.

I would highly recommend reading The 5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell. I would encourage you to work daily on becoming a leadership expert. You cannot build a business by yourself. You need to leverage the efforts of others to reach your true potential.