Undercover Boss Learns Lessons Cleaning Toilets

Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on

Want to learn what your employees are really thinking?  Go undercover.

CBS has created a new reality show, Undercover Boss,  in which the CEOs of large companies, go undercover as an entry level new employee to learn how the front line employees experience work.

Not a fan of reality TV?  BNET author, Steve Tobak, isn’t either, but he watched anyway and learned a great deal.  Tobak writes, “Now, my initial impression of the concept was “nice idea on paper, train wreck in practice.” I’ve seen CEOs in the trenches; it’s not a pretty sight. Trained in problem-solving, they tend to hone in on what’s wrong: incompetent employees, their “good intentions” botched by middle management, their grandiose plans failing in practice.

The show begins with Larry O’Donnell (pictured), president and COO of Waste Management — a $13 billion company — telling his senior leadership team that he’s going undercover to find out what effect their aggressive cost-cutting and restructuring is actually having in the field.”

Miss the episode?  Watch the full show here.

Tobak goes on to write about the experience O’Donnell had while undercover and the update since he taped the show one year ago.  Check out the follow up interview here.

Would you be interested in going undercover at your company?  What information would you learn?  As leaders, we need to know how the decisions made at the very top effect the front line employees.  We can’t lose sight of the daily operations for our team, or we will wander off course. Contact Us and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can help you go undercover and collect valuable information for your company that will help you as the leader!

The Leadership Trust® is a behavioral science firm specializing in both leadership and organizational development as well as all aspects of performance management, placing special emphasis on emotional intelligence and self-awareness. We personalize all workshops according to the wellness needs of our participants and those whom they impact, and we customize all consulting services to meet organizational goals based upon comprehensive assessments as needed. Our ultimate mission is to contribute towards a kinder, gentler world through the growth of the human spirit.

Picture courtesy of BNET.

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