You gotta admit that’s a good title. Hey, you clicked on it! Anyway, today is day two of EntreLeadership-Chris LoCurto here in Brentwood, Tennessee. And in EntreLeadership, you’ll find a common theme throughout the whole event: In order to lead well, you must serve well. Servant leadership is the only kind of leadership that ultimately works.
When I was hired as the VP of Live Events, I was the 18th person on Dave’s team. (For perspective, there are over 300 of us now.) And back in those days, we would load a van to haul all our products to our live events. At the time, we were holding events in churches instead of arenas, so we didn’t have a lot of stuff to take. Eventually, we moved to larger venues, which required a 12-foot box truck. That graduated to a 16-foot, then a 24-foot, then two 24-foot box trucks, and finally to a big rig. Now we have two big rigs that take all of our stuff, that’s loaded at a fulfillment center, to arena events.
But jumping back to the early days, those trucks had to be loaded at our offices. And with 18 of us, about 10 of us were guys. So all guys were called to load the truck two days before an event, and after Monday staff meeting, to unload the truck. Which was fine when the events were small, but they grew 50% almost overnight when I started Pastor Luncheons. So we needed a bigger truck and more product.
At every truck load/unload, you would see Dave Ramsey right there alongside all of us. Throwing boxes, lifting tables, and giving high-fives to the guys when we were finished. One day, one of the guys snapped this picture and sent it to me. It’s been on my phone for about eight years. From time to time, when people ask if Dave is a prima donna or if he actually helps out around the office, I show them this picture.
You see, you have to be willing to do whatever it is that you’re asking your team to do. If you’re a pastor, you have to be willing to set up chairs. If you’re a car detail shop owner, you have to be willing to detail the cars. And if you’re a speaker, you have to be willing to throw some boxes. You see, your team pulls a lot of energy from you. Or, conversely, they don’t! When I was still traveling with the road crew, I was always the guy in the truck throwing the boxes to the group of guys on the ground. My team would watch me handle 50% and sometimes 100% of the boxes while they handled 15%.
Why? Because I wanted my team to know that I was willing to outwork anybody. That I was willing to serve them by taking on the toughest job. And that gave them energy to work hard themselves. Can you imagine if I were the guy who always stood out of the way hoping to touch the least amount of boxes? (Believe me, I’ve seen that guy!) Then they would do the same. If your team walks into your office and your feet are up on the desk, theirs will be too. Next time you wonder why nobody works as hard as you think they should, maybe start by taking a look at you. You might be surprised to find the answer in the mirror.