Leading can be a heavy burden. It's much like you can expect it. And a lot worse sometimes. It really doesn't matter if you lead a team of geeks trying to construct a submarine model, a football team, or a cleaning team. Your duties remain the same. I have read a lot of leadership articles and none of them shows this from a simple enough perspective. They compare characters like Stalin and Hitler and Trump and Che, but they are so far from us, that we think about "leadership" as something distant and unachievable. Let me tell you my story.

While still young I wanted to make money on my own. It hit me at some point, that asking parents for money will not get me anywhere in the world. As soon as I graduated from school I began working as a part time window washer. The job was good, the pay was good and I have met a couple of guys which have later become my good friends. I have learned that in London there are many professional cleaning companies and it's fairly easy to find a job there. So that was my first stop once I entered the university.

Immediately they began my training and in three months I have become capable of cleaning a house top to bottom. Only that cleaning alone took time. That's why we worked as a team, usually 2 people and a supervisor. Occasionally we would get together with another team for larger properties or jobs, like pre and end of tenancy cleaning. I was performing my job just fine and after six months I asked to lead a team of my own. My record was excellent and so I was put in charge of a team of my own.

This is where the real story begins, because only now I began to learn how to manage a team. It's easy to speak of it today after all the hardships have been left behind my shoulders. But at the time I was swimming in deep waters. I was supposed to be responsible for the quality of the work we do. And nobody covers you. We had some basic regulations within the company, regarding any mishaps on our account, but they hardly covered more complicated matters. For example, if a cleaner accidentally break something, we were obligated to refund it. But if something went missing from the persons house things often got messy. In 99% of the cases it's the fault of the resident, but we are always easier to blame. They can't charge us unless it is proved that we had stolen something, but try to explain that to the tenants, which are anyway under stress and to loose something important only adds to their misery.

So far I had to be responsible for my own actions. But now I had to for actions of others as well. It was uncomfortable at first. I had to go back to my previous supervisor and ask for advice. The best one was to stay calm. Tempers can make things worse almost always, and never solve anything. The burden of command demanded of me constant vigilance and planning. I memorized the list of every part of a house which needs attending for end of tenancy cleaning. I had to help perform the job but also inspect on everybody' work as well.

It has come to me - there is one essential part of leadership. Trust. And that doesn't have to come from trusting everyone. It's just that you have to to pick people who you can trust. And be trustworthy yourself. It has to go both ways. Only then you can rely on them to get the job done. Only then they can rely on you to cover them when something happens.

There is one more thing - responsibility is more than just a burden. Many leadership coaches say that anyone could be a leader. The other half state the opposite. I tend to agree with the later. It's quite simple, really - people who are leaders take responsibility as a gift. They feel good with it. Irresponsible people cannot and must not become leaders. I didn't see much of that in the company I work for, but it's the other side of the coin.

Author's Bio: 

I have been working for end of tenancy home cleaning company for about two years now. I've been through the trenches and into the leading positions. I like to see things simpler and so - wish to provide you with some insights that I had recently.