There is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty by working directly on a project and building something from nothing. I know some people in the trenches aspire to a supervisor or manager role in their industry — and that’s fantastic — but never remove yourself so far from the actual action of creating the product or serving the customer that you forget what’s like or lose touch with the process.
Managers With Dirty Hands
The managers I’ve always had the most respect for were the ones that could go out in the field and still do the job as well (or better than) the people on their team. The credibility a manager like this has in priceless. This manager’s team knows they’ll never be asked to do something the manager hasn’t done (or isn’t willing to do) themselves, they know that they can’t get away with any excuses or slacking-off because their manager knows all the tricks, and the clients will have a great relationship with the manager because the manager isn’t afraid to call on them when things are going well or when things aren’t going quite as well as they could be.
Getting your hands dirty keeps you grounded
It’s nearly impossible for a supervisor’s ego to get the best of them when they take their turn cleaning the company restrooms. Some managers might think doing such a menial task is beneath them, but your employees will hold you in high-esteem if they see treating the job (every job) with the same care and attention they’ve been told to exhibit. And when a manager like this compliments a team member for doing a good job, it carries more weight because the team member knows the manager really understands the job.
Hard work and dirty hands are nothing to fear.