Having the boss get a taste of life at the bottom of the business was a good enough idea that they decided to make a whole TV show out of it.
In Undercover Boss, you get to see the CEOs and Chairmen of multi-million dollar chains staying grounded by working as chefs and sales assistants, and surprise, things aren’t always as rosy as the bosses imagine.
But is this idea just a television fad, or is there real value in having the CEO experience working at the bottom rung of their business?
When Hot Topics spoke with Edward Relf, CEO and founder of Laundrapp, a pick up and drop off laundry service, he told us how he’s staying grounded as the CEO of his business by periodically going out and driving the vans and collecting orders from customers.
Being behind the wheel and interacting with customers means he can see any issues his drivers might be having first-hand, and allows him to think of new ways to streamline and troubleshoot the business.
Oliver Bridge, founder and CEO of Cornerstone, a subscription shaving service adopts a similar approach with his business.
On top of his duties as CEO, Bridge thinks it’s important to help out with the little things which contribute to staying grounded as the CEO. He said:
“The logic is that as founder/CEO, as the business grows you should delegate and outsource and keep your head in the really strategic big-picture stuff.
“Actually I found that occasionally doing the minutiae that doesn’t scale is really important. It completely brings you back down to earth, you remember how the business works, and it shows that you care.”
So what are the little things that Bridge helps with? He explains:
“I’ll do things like sit with our marketing team and do hand-written gift labels to bloggers, I’ll be opening beers at events and this kind of stuff and it’s really important.”
To hear more about how Oliver Bridge is staying grounded as the CEO of Cornerstone, watch the video above.