Are You A Leader Or Just A Manager: Defining Success In The Cleaning Industry

Managers of cleaning companies are responsible for making sure work is done efficiently and with high quality. Leaders, on the other hand, are responsible for charting the course, clearly communicating the vision, and getting the team to voluntarily follow. Much of what gets passed off as leadership in the BSC world is nothing more than management tips and tricks. If you want to be a great leader of a great service company, you must lead from a motive greater than profit – otherwise, you are just another manager.

I have recently begun receiving coaching from a consultant who specializes in leadership development. He challenged me with a question that I want to pose to you. As a leader, this is a question YOU MUST be able to answer and communicate to your team.

“What does success look like at your business and how will you now if you have reached it?”

Don’t answer too quickly, as this question is much harder than it appears at first glance.

What makes this question difficult for me is that we are programmed in today’s business world to measure success solely in financial terms, i.e. profit. And even though we intuitively know this isn’t the only measure of success, we rarely think through what other markers of success look like, much less find a way to measure them.

This point was driven home even more to me this morning as I was reading a book by Scott Rae titled Business For The Common Good. He said, “For business professionals, seeing business as something more than its moneymaking value has profound implications for how we might approach our work. If reduced to nothing more than a means to make money, it does not matter where we work or what products we make or services we offer as long as we collect an adequate paycheck.”

In other words, if profit is our only or primary marker of success, then we devalue our industry, our cleaners, and our impact.

Such realities should cause us to be intentional about defining success for our team in a way that aligns with our values and our view of both life and business.

So if you want to be a true leader of your cleaning company in 2019, think long and hard about what defines success at your company and how you can know if you and your team have achieved it.


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