I’ve been sitting on the idea for this post for a while now waiting for the right moment. It’s finally here! The ultimate leadership tip you need to kickass in life.
Since I’ve started my new job I’ve been so inspired by the leadership, the culture and the care they show for their employees. It’s just reinforced a lesson I learned a long time ago at one of my part-time jobs that has stuck with me as I’ve moved up in my career.
I’ve had a ton of rando jobs from floral assistant to campus tour guide and none of them were a waste of time. Obviously, I made money, but I also learned lessons that I took with me when I started working as an adult in my career. That’s why I think it’s so important to have part-time jobs while in high school and college. School can teach you hard skills that you need for your career, but learning soft skills comes with time and practice. I’ve taken this ultimate leadership tip with me ever since I learned it and it’s truly the reason I believe I’ve moved up so quickly in my career.
Short on time? Pin now and read later!
I was finishing up my last course before college graduation and was working part-time so I could afford to visit my current boyfriend regularly since we were doing the long distance thing. I was pretty excited about it since it was at a spa, but it ended up being pretty blah. You were supposed to be able to get perks like cheaper services, but the workers just complained that you were taking up full-paying customer spots and whatnot. It was also 90% women and the estrogen overload just led to some super, cranky females.
Mind you, I’m not one of those women who say they dislike other women. I adore my gal pals, but these ladies would actively seek out things to fight about. It was a stressful and petty environment to be in. It definitely wasn’t a waste of time though. Even though I only worked there for three months I learned a ton of lessons. Surprisingly, this is the place where I learned my ultimate leadership tip.
I remember vividly working a busy Saturday when one of the two toilets in the women’s room not only wouldn’t flush but was flooding the tiled floor rapidly. I have a lot of positive qualities, but being handy isn’t one of them and maintenance staff was nowhere to be seen. I’d been told to alert upper management if anything like this happened so I called down to the office to see if anyone was available. About five minutes later I saw the GM’s head pop up as they escalator took her up to our floor. She stopped at the desk and asked me what was going on.
I explained that the toilet wouldn’t flush and was overflowing all over the bathroom floor. I had no chill back then so I was talking fast and was obviously very anxious. The GM doesn’t hesitate for a moment. She motioned for me to follow her, went to the janitor’s closet that was obscured by some fake palm trees and typed the code into the entry pad. She grabbed the plunger and sashayed her way down to the women’s locker room.
She opened up the door to the women’s bathroom and a teensy wave of water trickled out. She took off her gorgeous, glossy black Manolo Blahniks and handed them to me while stepping into what was quickly becoming a child’s size wading pool. With plunger in hand, she rolled up the sleeves to her BCBG white button up and got to work. Her rose-colored pencil skirt was getting little splashes of toilet water and her perfectly coiffed hair was becoming a bit undone, but she kept right on plunging.
After about a minute the toilet finally made a draining noise as everything went down and she stopped to assess the damage. Walking out of the stall, she grabbed a towel from the neat pile stacked next to the shower area and went to go wash her hands.
After cleaning up a bit she clapped her hands together signaling me to follow her and went back to the front desk to call one of the janitor’s to clean up the watery mess. At that moment, this fierce lady was my hero. She was the GM of this whole spa and she had gotten down and dirty to do something that needed to be done. She hadn’t been a damsel in distress waiting for the janitor to get done with lunch while the toilet continued to overflow. She had gotten things done!
It would have been so easy for her to say “that’s not my job” or “that’s what we pay the janitor to do”, but no, she showed that toilet whose boss. It was in that moment I realized that in order to truly inspire your employees and display great leadership you need to be willing to do any job you give your employees whether it’s unclogging a toilet or schmoozing new clients.
This moment has inspired me for almost 10 years now and it will continue to for the rest of my life. She is the kind of leader I aspire to be and as I move up further in my career I want the employees who work under me to know that no job is too small and that when you work as a team you all win. That’s the ultimate leadership tip in action.
Whether you’re a manager, owner or someone who just has assistants this lesson is so important in inspiring trust in your employees. Knowing that you will do anything, big or small, to keep things up and running smoothly will inspire them to do the same.
I no longer remember the GM’s name, but I remember this moment very clearly and the impact it had on me. That is the kind of legacy I hope to leave at all my future workplaces.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 years into your career or if you’re still in high school. Learning to be a leader who will take on any job can be handy on your varsity sport’s team or in the boardroom when unveiling a new product to your sales team. I know we all hate group projects, but this ultimate leadership tip can take a group project from painful to pleasant.
Be someone who inspires people to be a team player and not push less than ideal tasks onto others and everywhere you go you will develop a strong network of teammates, classmates, and coworkers. I can’t tell you how often this ultimate leadership tip has come in handy for me and how well it has worked.
Now get out there and tap into your fierce, Manolo Blahnik wearing spirit animals!
Want some more inspiration? Check out my latest posts Wellness Trends That Will Have You Feeling on Point and The Best Way to Start on Your To-do List Right Now. Enjoy!