Quote from Forbes Article:
If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality content, you’re going to need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else, showing that hard work is being done on every level. By proving your commitment to the brand and your role, you will not only earn the respect of your team, but will also instill that same hardworking energy among your staff. It’s important to show your commitment not only to the work at hand, but also to your promises. If you pledged to host a holiday party, or uphold summer Fridays, keep your word. You want to create a reputation for not just working hard, but also be known as a fair leader. Once you have gained the respect of your team, they are more likely to deliver the peak amount of quality work possible.
Those first two sentences hit like a ton of bricks. Most times, managers get a sense of entitlement and begin to think they are above hard work. They can’t get their white collar dirty, right? But as the article states, “If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality content, you’re going to need to lead by example.” The reward promised comes immediately afterwards: “There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else, showing that hard work is being done on every level.”
You ever play that game Follow the Leader? Kids play it often, and they sing a song that says, “I’m following the leader, wherever he may go”. Having a boss, or following a leader, who actually is walking directly ahead of you, going through what you’re going through, and experiencing your pain is great motivation to propel a team to excellence. They not only have someone to show them the way, they have someone to lean on when they get into trouble.
Just this past week, I knew we had an early job. It was a 6:15am delivery time, but not a big event. There are two other supervisors who planned to be at our warehouse, sending out the crew. I woke to my annoying alarm, and checked the time. 5:00am. Right on time. I thought to myself, “ahh, I’m tired, I’ll just text our guys and make sure they’re ok, and then go back to sleep”. But I thought better of it and told myself that I should just go in anyway, and if they didn’t really need my help I’d just send them on their way, and catch a 45 minute nap at the office. But it’s a good thing I was there! When I got to the doors at 5:45am, there was one guy at our shop, and the truck was only partially loaded. Immediately I jumped into action, helping him load up most of the rest of the gear, then sending him out to get to site on time. I quickly loaded up the rest of the items myself into a second truck, and left at 6:00am. I called up our other supervisors who were supposed to be there, and found out one of them had car trouble, and the other just figured he’d call and check on the team from home. Big mistake. Upon arrival to the gates, we also had trouble locating the exact drop-off venue, and had to coordinate with the client to find the location. It was something that an inexperienced, flustered crew would have had problems with, but because I was there to help them through it, not only did we have an extremely happy client, our crewman was in good spirits knowing that his leader was there with him guiding his every step. Do you think that guy was motivated to work hard that morning, and come work with me again? No question. His loyalty to ME is complete.
Commitment is crucial to this job we do in special events. If you don’t love what you do, you will be a terrible leader. Your team will intuitively be able to tell that you aren’t really into it, and it will breed at best an indifferent team. At worst, they will be completely unmotivated. And everything will implode.