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  • Michelle Harrod

It's OK to Get Dirty Sometimes

Bobby Purvis | May 23, 2023


Working side by side with your staff, getting dirty and sweating alongside them, is so important for several reasons.

During a recent emergency response, I joined several members of a department to address a critical repair. The task was demanding and required several hours of dedicated effort. As we worked tirelessly, I found myself getting dirty and feeling the fatigue that was shared by everyone involved in the repair.

While I may not have been deemed essential for the technical aspects of the task, I recognized the significance of working shoulder-to-shoulder with the crew. I understood that by actively participating in the physical demands of the job, I was not only demonstrating my commitment but also fostering trust and camaraderie among the team members. As a leader, it is my responsibility to cultivate an environment of trust and camaraderie, and I firmly believe that working side by side with my team is a powerful way to achieve this.

When you are willing to roll up your sleeves and actively participate in the tasks and challenges that your staff faces, it sends a powerful message that you are not just a member of leadership, but a teammate who is fully invested in their success. This creates a bond of mutual respect and support, leading to stronger collaboration and teamwork.

Working alongside your staff allows you to gain firsthand knowledge and understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and the challenges they encounter. Things don’t always go as planned, but you will see who responds to adversity and those that need encouragement to continue toward a solution. It also helps you develop a realistic perspective on what is achievable and what improvements can be made within the team. This interaction can highlight areas of need and can direct the type of training needed in the future.

Getting dirty and sweating with your staff breaks down barriers and promotes a culture of equality and diversity. When employees see their leader engaging in the same physical work and facing the same challenges, it fosters a sense of fairness and shared responsibility. This cultivates a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their best.

Your actions speak louder than words, and when your staff sees you actively participating in the work, they are more likely to emulate your dedication, work ethic, and commitment to quality. Your presence in the trenches inspires them to push their own limits, overcome obstacles, and strive for continuous improvement.

You got this - keep Sparking up your team!

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