“Could you move that desk for me and bring me a coffee, I’m way too busy for this…”
Sure, at a certain hierarchy level you are just too expensive to take care of certain stuff yourself. Why bother to take care of super basic everyday tasks? Isn’t there an intern who could do it?!
What you lose
You might’ve just started to become comfortable in your ivory tower. But what happened? You don’t hear from your colleagues? Your team seems far away and sometimes you have the feeling they rather make jokes on your behalf than putting in the work?
If you thought with a title comes respect and appreciation of you as a leader: nope! Behaving as if you are worth more than your colleague will most likely end up in resentment. They will think you are not in this together with them but only for your own egoistical reasons. This in turn will call for attaching more bad characteristics to you (say hi to the halo-effect). Things you do might likely get interpreted worse than they were intended. You will be taken less seriously, you will be less likeable and your name might get painted black behind your back, depending on how badly you’re behaving.
A lack of support for you as a leader is the result. The team might continue to do the necessary work. But if it comes to problems or crunch situations you soon might be alone. Your team — a group of people who are supposed to work collaboratively to create great results — diminishes into a one person show.
What you could try instead
Pick up the piece of paper somebody left in the conference room on the floor. Put your own dishes and the cup from someone else into the dishwasher. Do your part in the groundwork and basic “dirty”, nitty-gritty jobs. Ask how you can be of service to your team…
A misconception of being a leader or simply someone higher up in the hierarchy is that you are there to give commands. Actually, your main job is to lift up others to show their best selves, to be successful, to learn and grow. This can mean to bring back a notebook that someone forgot somewhere. This can mean to make tea for someone, sit down and talk about anything that helps that person to feel better. This can mean to encourage the quieter team mates to speak up and raise their opinion in a meeting or ask them afterwards about it.
Show that you are far from perfect, that you make mistakes, that you are able to reevaluate your opinion based on new information. And don’t forget: we are all human beings, we are social animals and we need to come together to create something good.