Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Thing Leads to Another--Musings About Leadership

The link from my title leads to a You Tube video that touched me just now. Take a look if you haven't seen it. It is the one about Johnny the Bag Boy and how he transformed his store. It made me remember something from Super Bowl Sunday. I stayed tuned in for the following show where the CEO of Waste Management went incognito and took the most menial jobs related with his company. He was clearly a very nice guy with a good heart. But he discovered that there were many practices in his company that needed change. There was the draconian rule for a very short lunch hour with pay docked for taking just one extra minute. There were the time constraints on truck routes that did not even allow for restroom breaks, which were disproportionally hard on female drivers. There was the overworked and under-appreciated office manager about to lose her house because of her low pay. The manager went back and changed many policies. He said his life was completely changed.

All this is very interesting to me because suddenly I realized that at this time I am more of an administrator than anything else, though I do still have teaching duties. I never really wanted to be cast in this role but accepted my present position because I thought it was the right thing to do. I want learn to treat people in my department with respect, honor, and fairness. I think of the woman who drove the truck and found the joy she brought to her job was diminished by the unreasonable demands imposed upon her. Taking people's joy is a serious mistake. There have been a few times in my life when I have worked for administrators that diminished their staff's joy and productivity by humiliating people, setting impossible standards, showing favoritism, and otherwise demeaning the people in their charge. I hope I can learn to be a bit like Johnny's boss and the Waste Management CEO and "get it right."

Oh and, the name of the show is "Undercover Boss," and the next episode is about the CEO of Hooter's. I am not usually a fan of reality shows but I will probably try to catch this one. Plus you can watch the first episode here:

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