Leadership Lesson from Laundry

Late Sunday night Ashley and I returned from our honeymoon and unsurprisingly, there was a significant amount of laundry to be done.  Ashley tends to wash clothes on warm/hot while I wash on cold.  When I threw in my load of laundry, it was set to hot.  I suggested to Ashley that cold would suffice and she pushed back that she would be happy to take care of it.  I then reminded her that she had had a few laundry “issues” recently with the loss being a few sets of sheets. (stupid move, Nan)  I suggested that I would happily wash my own laundry for the rest of our lives with no issues, after all, I had a list a mile long on why cold water washes were better for my clothes.  Ashley became upset. I had blown it.

For me this conversation was no big deal and I was wrong.  By pushing hard on this I was forcing her out of the role that she has been dying to play her whole life – being the wife, caregiver and person in charge of making our house a home.  In this situation, I had made an error in leadership.  I was failing to delegate, trapping me into doing something that I didn’t need to be doing and taking a special feeling away from my wife.  Hopefully, these lessons will become easier everytime.  This particular one spoke to me and it is shaping me to be a better leader overall.

photo by mudpig

Author: Nan Palmero, MBA

It's likely we've met: a) on an airplane b) at an event c) in a meeting d) on the internet. If you haven't found what you're looking for here, message me. I like making new friends. You can find me on Google+

3 thoughts on “Leadership Lesson from Laundry”

  1. You’re either brilliant for writing this in your blog (opening up and showing growth publicly…) , or incredibly short sited (Ashely could re-read this at any point in time for the next 99 years and you’d be screwed all over again.)

    Texans are on their own planet 🙂

    Cold water for life.

  2. It takes a real person to have confidence enough to put himself out there by writing the laundry theme. There was no fear whether you were or weren’t right or wrong. The issue is that it takes a great person to put a spouse first.

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