Sweep the parking lot

When I think back to my college classes, a cold chill descends my spine when I remember accounting. I am not left brained nor have I ever been accused of being organized, but I now find myself as the COO of a start-up company performing tasks ranging from driving a fork lift to (wait for it) accounting. What idiot put me in charge of payroll, purchase orders, and inventory? That idiot would be me. We have two guiding principles in our company: The first is called the boat test – meaning we don’t do business with a vendor whom we wouldn’t want to spend a day in the boat with, and the second is called the boomerang principle. We don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t bring money back in. For that reason, many of the administrative tasks fell on me. I bought Quick Books, asked questions, watched videos, and learned how to manage the day-to-day operations of our company. We are now in the process of hiring a bookkeeper, but because I learned how to perform the tasks they would do, I can better manage the process. Because I got certified to drive a forklift, I know exactly what our warehouse guys are up to.

I am reminded of the restaurant where I worked as a waiter after moving to Nashville many years ago. All of the assistant managers went through a training program that began by sweeping the parking lot. I once asked the GM why they would be forced to do that, and he told me “one day they will ask you to do it and they will know what is involved and how long it takes”.

Do you know how long it takes to sweep your credit union parking lot? I don’t really expect you to sweep your lot, but the most effective leaders have walked in the shoes of every role within their credit union. There are two types of people in any company: The “That’s not my job” people and the “give me the heavy end” people. The latter are the ones that climb the ladder. Which one are you?

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry is an author and speaker from North Carolina. As a former Nashville songwriter and humorist on the SiriusXM Radio Family Comedy Channels, he delivers funny and entertaining keynote ... Web: www.patrickHenrySpeaker.com Details