I’ve heard a lot about the show “Undercover Boss”, but it wasn’t until tonight I caught my first episode. The idea behind the show is to have a posh posh senior executive get off their office hams and go on an undercover mission to see what it’s really like to be the low man on the totem pole. For example, tonight Bill Massa, the CEO of Synagro (the largest recycler of organic byproducts in the United States) got to wade in a 22 gallon tank of sludge, separated water from solids, and dredged a lagoon. Massa of course found that getting his hands dirty and working alongside these hardworking people was quite an eye opener…he ended up donating $10,000 to St. Jude on behalf of an employee, established vision benefits, and even implemented a program that would fund employee efforts to quit smoking.
The idea behind this show is something we should always try to keep in mind as we progress in our careers. It’s all too easy too easy to implement strategies and processes without taking a moment to see, first hand, how these decisions will affect the people that are actually doing the work. It isn’t until we try out the process ourselves, and also get valuable input from others, that we can truly make good decisions. Moral of the story: get off those haunches once in awhile and see what kind of impact your decisions have on others.