As a 4th generation small business owner I learned my most important leadership lessons while pulling orders of 2x4s on a forklift with my Grandpa. The most poignant of them all was this:

You have to care as much about the growth and success of entry-level employees as you do about the growth and success of the company – because they are often the same thing.

Grandpa Dick At Canby Builders Supply

Grandpa Dick At Canby Builders Supply

My business roots grew in the builders supply industry, so it’s no wonder my work in coaching and leadership development has been inspired by the selfless and enduring commitment of my grandfather, uncles and mom and dad.

And, it is because of these lessons that I believe that the coaching and leadership development are prime for an industry disruption – it’s time to empower and  expand the leadership of the front lines.

Front Lines Leadership is a not just a movement away from top-down (or trickle down) leadership, but a move towards from TRICKLE UP leadership.  It’s a call for an investment of our resources, time and energy to be spent on the people who are dealing every day with your most valued assets: your customers.

Ali and Jeannie Touring CBS w Mom

Ali and Jeannie Touring CBS w/ Owner Holly Rodway (aka mom)

 Take a moment to listen to an interview Jeannie  and I did with our coaching colleagues Mike and  Molly on their radio show. We’d love your input,  ideas and feedback. Disruption Radio – Front Lines Leadership

Yes: There are going to be struggles in bringing often expensive, often time-intensive leadership development trainings to the baristas and the baggage handlers. We are going to get push back around “scaleability” “ROI” and plenty of other business buzz words. We know.

The movement to take leadership to the front  lines is going to take some courage and some  vision – but isn’t that what my great-grandfather’s business was built on anyway?