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