Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Boardroom

Dirty Hands

It pays to get ‘em dirty.

Driving back to the office from a client’s construction site a few days ago, an employee whom I’d taken along for the ride said he was surprised I’d get out of the car to straighten a crooked sign.

“I’m sure most other company presidents would just get somebody else to fix it later,” added the employee.

I don’t know that most other presidents would do that, but I’m pretty sure a majority would. And that’s unfortunate.

I’m not even talking about the sheer pleasure we should all derive from rolling our sleeves up — the pleasure we should all experience to see homes being built, little by little, or the pleasure of knowing these homes are a family’s dream becoming reality, one that will soon see the whole family spend quality time in the kitchen after a long day.

Rather, I’m talking about common sense. I’m talking about good business practice.

See, it pays to drive to the construction site. It pays to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty. It pays to know what things look like and smell like to the consumer, and not just from the vantage point of your faraway office. It pays to fix that crooked sign yourself.

Consider another example. On our way to this construction site, we drove past a competitor’s sign announcing a new home community.

At least, that’s what I think it was, for the sign was much too cramped, and its font size much too small, for anyone to really know what it was about.

A sign like that can only be the product of a boardroom meeting — one whose members didn’t bother to set foot where the sign would be located.

The price? A sign that no one can read. A wasted opportunity. Money thrown into the wind.

Get your hands dirty. It pays to do so — in more than one way.

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