Last week I attended the D6 conference in Frisco, Texas, put on by Randall House. The moment I walked into the exhibit area, I recognized a familiar face--Ron Hunter, the CEO of Randall House. If you didn't know Ron, though, you never would have picked him out of the crew that was working like bees in a beehive. Just like everyone else, he wore a D6 t-shirt and his blue jeans. But even more than what he was wearing, the significant thing was what I saw him doing. Ron was moving furniture, setting up registration, greeting people, and scurrying around to find the answer to the latest question. He was in the trenches alongside his people, doing whatever needed to be done. What an example of leadership! It's very evident that the people who work with and for Ron respect him tremendously ... and from what I witnessed, he deserves every bit of it. When I expressed my appreciation to Ron for the example he was setting, he said, "When it comes to D6, we all check our titles at the door." Ron was leading with an exclamation point!
Are you this kind of leader? Is there something that is beneath you to do in the position you're in? There's something very appealing to your volunteers and fellow staff when you don't hesitate to truck the garbage to the dumpster, grab a paintbrush, get a little spaghetti sauce on you, or put some muscle behind a shovel. One of the biggest relationship builders happens when people work together on a common project. That can't happen if the leader issues the orders and lets his people carry out the task completely. They'll have a great relationship with one another ... and probably be talking about you while they're working ... but you've lost out on a great opportunity.
Look for one way this week ... yeah, you heard me, just ONE ... that you can come alongside someone who volunteers under you. Help them cut something out, or hang a curtain, or scrub the glue off the table. Enjoy the conversation while you are "leading by coming alongside."
By the way, Ron Hunter wrote a fun leadership book (which he lives out) called Toy Box Leadership. You'll enjoy every chapter of it, and probably get the urge to dig out some of those old toys.