Why Managers Need to Do the Grunt Work With Their Team

Yoga connects me with my body. It holds me accountable by letting me see how far I have come and how far I have to go.


So when I went to class last night with a new teacher I was excited. But that excitement didn’t last very long. It turned into frustration.

I found myself checking the clock every five minutes to find out when this class was going to be over, which is something I never do in yoga class.

Ten minutes in, I figured out why. This new teacher was not doing the poses and stretches with us. She was simply telling us what to do and walking around the room to ensure we were doing it correctly.

She couldn’t feel what we were feeling. She had no idea when we were holding a pose for too long or when our muscles felt like they were going to turn against us.

I found myself starting to secretly resent her. Plank position for 4 minutes?

When I got home, I reflected on all of my emotions and where they came from. And that’s when I made the connection.

Essentially, I had just experienced a manager who called out directions, micromanaged, and did not earn my trust.

She was not in it with us. She did not feel the pain we were feeling. She did not know when we were tired, hurting, or ready to shift to a new pose.

The resentment I felt is similar to what employees can feel when their manager does not understand what they do. He or she doesn’t know about the challenges or the pain points; they simply want the job done.

A great manager is connected to their staff. They know how it feels to do the grunt work because they have done it themselves and at times, they drop everything to experience it with you.

One of my best career lessons was learning the importance of stepping away from my desk and jumping into the most difficult tasks. Whether it is setting up chairs for 200 people, going to Costco for cases of water, or creating spreadsheets, I do it all - alongside my team. Nothing creates trust faster than knowing that your manager doesn’t have a list of tasks that are above their pay grade or not within their job description.

Lesson of the day: Do the yoga poses with them.