Leaders Deal with Messes (literally)

About 80 times per year, Group Dynamic workshop participants will make a “selfish behaviors” list, so we have something to refer to as we work toward better ways of maintaining high standards through effective, relationship-based leadership.

Most common concerns include lateness of delivery or arrival, or lack of initiative. But there’s an equally common area of concern that has little to do with performance or production:


Leaving bathroom, break room, or kitchen messes is an absurdly common complaint.

And, it doesn’t get addressed, often because it:

  1. is not witnessed directly
  2. seems minor
  3. “isn’t my problem” (teammate)
  4. “not worth my efforts – not their parent” (boss)

But workplace messes get people worked up and annoyed with each other. They’re unwelcoming to new people. And often get dealt with in passive-aggressive ways, or nasty “YOUR MOM DOESN’T WORK HERE” signs.

Suggestion – leaders initiate clean-up, set clear standards, post emotionally intelligent signage (example below) that ask for specific behavior, and give feedback when it doesn’t happen.

Because, even though it doesn’t require an MBA, leaders make sure messes go away.

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