UNWILLINGNESS TO RENDER HUMBLE SERVICE. Truly great leaders are willing, when occasion demands, to perform any sort of labor that they would ask another to perform. ‘The greatest among ye shall be the servant of all’ is a truth that all able leaders observe and respect.  (from: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill) …

I am inspired to reflect and emulate the conduct of some of my own clients, who have established themselves as great leaders … the fruitage of which shows in their station in life.  Please note the following experiences:

On the very same project which I discuss below in my last Blog post … on the very same day that I started the ball rolling by showing up at 5:30 AM to begin cleaning work, my client, the developer and his wife, both showed up to lend a hand. These two people are in the top 1/2% of earners in the United Sates. They have no need to do anything but stand on the sidelines and demand service appropriate to the price they are paying to the resources which they have hired. However, these two people who could spend all of their time drinking mint juleps on the veranda pitched in and worked side by side with everyone else on the site clean-up work. They helped to un-pack, un-box and set furniture. They hung artwork in the guest rooms, they picked up a paint brush and help do touch-up work to ensure that the guests … their guests … had the best possible experience upon arrival at this new resort property.

On another occasion, one of our painting subcontractors, a family of Hispanic men were just breaking for lunch and sitting under a tree on the grass with their gas burner, iron skillet and tortillas and fillings preparing to eat. This group, who I had already developed a personal relationship with, invited me to recline and enjoy lunch with them and I, in turn, invited my client Neil to join us. Despite having an extremely busy and demanding schedule, without hesitation, Neil reclined on the grass with the rest of us and we all shared a fresh, hot lunch of very simple food. We all told funny stories and laughed together. The social barriers melted away and these men, these laborers, saw the developer not as a snob but as a family member.

To this day, this crew of workers are some of the most loyal and hard working resources we have to call on. They will do virtually any task they are asked to do and they do it with pride and a high degree of quality.

Neil and I share a common belief in inspiring followers through comaraderie rather than intimidation. We are often told by our architects, contractors, even our attorneys, that they will do things for us they would never consider doing for another client because they know that if the tables were turned, they will be able to count on our loyalty in return.

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