A business is more than sweeping the floors.
I have been thinking about running a business a lot recently. Largely because I am trying to do that very thing. Let’s just say I’m not that great at it yet, but along this bumpy road I’ve discovered a very important truth about leadership. And surprisingly enough it lines up with how a family should run.
Now there is a bit of a size difference between Jesse Martineau industries and let’s say that of Google… But I still feel this applies. The question I’ve thought about is “who is the most important piece of a corporation?” Now I’m sure there are a lot of human resource people shouting “we are all the same!” Sorry but we really aren’t. There are ranks, positions, levels of authority that we all must respect and regard!
Now the consumer chimes in “We are! We spend the money!” Well that is what keeps the business in business, but it still isn’t what makes the business RUN. OK now all the janitors, mail people, support staff pipe up, “If it wasn’t for us, this place would fall apart!” OK, well, it might be a bit of a mess, but still, not what makes it run.
What makes a company run, is who decides where the ship is sailing to. The Boss, the Leader, the CEO, President, Prime-minister, King, The Head Honcho… You get the point. The real leader of that business is directly responsible for how that business does. Yes ALL THE OTHER parts are needed, DUH! I wish we didn’t have to be so politically correct… Anyway, The CEO of that business has all the weight on their shoulders, regardless of the support staff around them.
Now here is the hilarious part. Most of the time the people (like the janitors) that do smaller tasks feel they are the real glue of the whole operation, they are not. The reason they feel this way is because what they do can be directly SEEN by all, especially them. They sweep and mop, and it’s clean! Direct results! Where as a CEO can make a decision that will make billions of dollars, yet it is going to take 10 years to achieve that. You tell me what is more valuable, AND who is the real leader of that company.
Leading is not a pretty task, let me tell you. It costs A LOT, you can pour out your blood, sweat, tears, and it will go largely unnoticed, ironically enough mostly by the janitors… “Wow so much segregation!” Ummm well you walk into Google or Apple and tell them that their way of doing things is stupid… There is a reason why you are not in charge over there.
The family needs to function the same way. The Father is not always going to get all the credit for making the turkey diner, washing the laundry, making sure the house is in order, the things he does are not as easily seen. He is responsible for discipline, raising children so that in 10, 15, 20 years that kid is a thriving young adult, ready to take care of a family of his own.
Again in conclusion, I am in no way diminishing the role of support staff, merely opening the eyes of those that feel the CEO doesn’t do anything. They carry more than you can see, now anyway, eventually you yourself will enjoy what they were able to establish. So find one of those people, and thank them that they are carrying, what you cannot.