**TRIGGER WARNING** Love him or hate him, there has perhaps never been a president more polarizing than Donald Trump. His hatred of the media, willingness to say (literally) anything, and an ego the size of Texas win him both praise and disdain. While I’m a conservative who is NOT a big fan of Trump, I understand why many like him and I understand why many despise him. I get that.
However, the current political landscape can be very instructive for BSC leaders despite our political persuasion. Love it or hate it, Donald Trump is best known for his ego. I would argue that ultimately, for better or worse, this is what got him elected president. While history has yet to decide if the Trump presidency is a success, we must ask ourselves a question: “Is a Donald Trump leadership style good for our business?”
Let me pose the question another way. Would you hire a manager on your staff who had the ego of our current president? Is the ego that gets a man elected president beneficial in running a cleaning operation?
For me the answer is absolutely not!
The janitorial industry is a servant-oriented industry. Team members are asked to perform a task most wouldn’t do for a pay most wouldn’t accept. Janitorial managers not only must lead and inspire these workers toward excellence, but must serve company customers as well. Leading such a team will require an incredible amount of humility, service, and dedication. You must be able to take criticism and blame even when you aren’t at fault. Mangers must transfer praise to their team, not seek it for themselves. Finally, they must be willing to perform the lowest of tasks alongside their workers, showing they are not too good to clean.
While I don’t mean to pick on our president, I am convinced that his sort of bravado spells disaster for leaders in our industry. We need men and women who will lead with conviction and humility - managers who put themselves last and others first. We need servant leaders who can connect with rich and poor, black and white, male and female. We need leaders of integrity.
At my company, we are looking for managers we describe as “blue collar professionals.” These are men and women who know the value of hard work and professionalism, yet possess the values of humility, integrity, and excellence.
So remember, what can get you elected as president of the most powerful country on earth can make you a terrible janitorial manager. Servant leadership is the best road to lasting success.