I grew up working for my parents. Even when I was young, I was helping out around the office of their small business. I learned so much about how the world works firsthand, and I would never take anything for those experiences. I also learned things about management and leadership that I carry with me today.
Work Hard, Get Rewarded
I can\’t remember a week going by where they didn\’t have a rush job to get out the door. Screaming customers and scurrying workers made up the sights and sounds of those frantic days. But it wasn\’t always 110% hard-driving insanity. When the employees had to work late, I\’d often carry them a plate of homemade food from the house. When they had to get there before dawn, I would make a biscuit run to keep them going. And the pizza lunches? I can still remember them fondly. Working your tail off was expected, but you knew that they would still take care of you (especially food-wise!) during those times.
Dive Right In
Remember those frantic times I mentioned? Some people probably figured the boss would be sitting high above, shouting orders and waving frantically to the lowly employees on the floor. Actually, it would have been pretty tough to do that kind of thing while he was working side-by-side with them. I can remember someone telling me one time that it must have been nice to have the employees doing the work for him. I\’ve never laughed so hard in my life. My dad\’s been there at some time between six and seven in the morning every day since I can remember, and he was often that guy who stayed late to finish something and deliver it to a customer. And getting a call at 11:45pm to come pick up a job? He’d be out the door within minutes. People respect someone who can not only talk the talk but also walk the walk.
Being a manager is easier than being a leader.
I know others have talked before about their first jobs. Do you have a story that you\’d like to share?