Ask a House Cleaner, Being a Leader, Savvy Cleaner

Being a Leader vs. Being in Charge

Being a leader vs. being in charge is an important distinction to make. Whether you’re a cleaning franchisor, a house cleaner, parent, clergyman, teacher, coach or boss. 

Being a leader isn’t about giving special treatment and special favors. Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says being a leader is about leading with love. Tough love and earning respect along the way. 

“The golden rule has become tarnished with entitlement.” You’ll learn today what you can count on in today’s episode of Ask a House Cleaner. 

Today’s show sponsor is

HouseCleaning360 is a business referral network for house cleaners and maids and housekeepers.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Being a Leader vs. Being in Charge

Now, today’s questions come from a guy who is a franchise owner. He has a lot of franchisees who report back to him. He owns the cleaning company, and they all pay him a little percentage of their regular earnings. But he has a problem. He says, “The people that work for me, they pay me money, but they don’t like me and they don’t respect me. What am I doing wrong?” That’s an excellent question.

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Answer: Being a Leader vs. Being in Charge 

Being a leader vs. being in chargeNow, there’s a huge difference between being a leader and just being in charge. If you’re running a congregation or a business, there’s a huge difference between the two. 

Now, if you’re in charge, you can make and break whatever rules you want. You can make whatever demands you want, of the people that you are in charge of.

But, if you’re a leader, what you’re asking people to do is follow you. If you’re in charge, you are demanding. If you’re leading people, they want to follow you. See? There’s a huge difference.

Change To The Golden Rule

being a leader vs. being in charge Scriptures with the Golden RuleNow, there’s a Biblical passage that said, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” It’s known as the golden rule.

Well, the golden rule has become tarnished over the years. Because, right now, we live in an era where everyone feels entitled. Everyone wants special treatment. “Hey, just break the rules for me because I’m special.” Right?

Even I want that. I want to go to the head of the line and to skip out on whatever it is that I don’t have to do. My time is valuable, and, if I can have some shortcuts, then sure I’ll take them. 

But, if I treat people with the same entitlement that I wish for, my business would fall apart. So, I can’t use the golden rule anymore. Because now the society around that golden rule has changed. As a leader, you have to change the rules of the game.

Tough Love

Being a leader vs. being in charge cartoon man leads many

Now, if you’re going to lead, you have to follow the rules of the land and lead with love.

Sometimes, that means leading with tough love. Even if I want to give you special treatment or let you skip to the head of the line, I still have to lead with love. And that tough love means I can’t bend the rules. 

I have to have a set of rules and regulations in place. If you break these rules and regulations, here’s what happens. When you follow through on those rules and regulations, people respect you. They may not like you, but they respect you.

There’s a difference. If you’re just in charge and people don’t like you, that’s a lot of people respecting you and not liking you. Okay? There’s a difference between being in charge and being a leader.

Being A Leader

Being a leader vs. being in charge FranchisorThis is not easy and neither is being in charge. Being a leader is not easy because you have to make some decisions that are going to be unpopular. One of the most important things about being a leader is realizing this.

Leadership cannot be assigned. It can not be demanded. It can only be earned.

If I print something fancy on your business card that says, “I’m the owner of this franchise,” okay. That’s awesome. But all that title does is buy you time until you can prove that you are the leader.

Or until your franchisees can prove that you are not. That’s all it does. Having a fancy title just buys you time. It does not enforce the fact that you are a leader because maybe you are not. 

Taking On Leadership

being a leader vs. being in charge Respond vs. React

If you want to be a leader, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of. Number 1 is you need to respond, not react. In every business, sports team, congregation, whatever, there will be things that malfunction. That is part of the role of being a leader.

You are in the line of fire when a whole bunch of stuff falls apart and crumbles.

How you lead is going to determine how the people around you behave. If they think that you’re the leader and that you’re in charge, they’re going to look to you for cues.

Question 2 Spacer Savvy CleanerTake A Step Back Before Reacting

When problems escalate, things get chaotic. If you fly by the seat of your pants and you’re all out there, then you are reacting, not responding.

You have to take a step back and say, “Wow. I’m the leader here. As a leader, I have a responsibility to my people. I need to control my emotions and temper, and think before making a decision.” 

Your people are expecting you to give a fast and quick response, this may not be the best choice. Sometimes you need to step back, take a deep breath and look at it from every angle. 

Analyze The Situation

being a leader vs. being in charge Slow Down signs on roadFor me, it’s an energy check. When I’m upset and my blood starts to boil, I stop, and I say, “Wow. This has me charged up. I am upset about this particular thing. Why is that?”

I have to stop and realize: “Does this hurt my reputation? Does this mean I’m going to lose future income from this particular scenario? Does it look like I’ve lost control of the people that I’m working with? Why am I so charged up about this?”

When you stop to realize that, “Okay. This is not the end of the world. I got this. It’s going to be okay. We just need some new rules in place,” then you can stop, and you can put together your new rules.

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Take Some Time

If you find yourself in turbulence and your blood starting to boil, stop and slow down. Ask yourself, what is it that I want to do in this moment? How do I want people to see me?

Realize that the things that you say in this moment are going to guide the future of your organization. 

Sometimes You Need to Wait Before Responding

being a leader vs. being in charge bigger the problem, the slower the responseNow, I run a private Facebook group, and there are a couple of things that have gone awry. When they happened, it freaked me out. I’m like, “Oh my gosh. What am I supposed to do now?”

Well, I stopped, and I didn’t respond immediately. Sometimes, I waited 24 hours. Huge comment threads would erupt with people wondering “What is going on here? How are we supposed to respond?” In these crazy moments, people expected a leader. 

With the damage already done, the only thing that made sense to me was to create some new group rules. 

I came back with a list of rules and regulations. “These are new rules and regulations are based on what just happened. Please don’t challenge me. Because I will have to enforce the new rules and regulations of this group.”

The secret is to make new rules and regulations with the best interests of the group in mind. You can’t make up crazy rules that only serve you.

Rules Don’t Apply

being a leader vs. being in charge Entitlement man wearing crown, people bow

Now, there was an influential person in the group that decides, “Well, those rules don’t apply to me. Because I’m super important.”

“Oh, don’t do this to me.  Okay? Because, out of respect for you, I want to give you the special treatment.  I want the special treatment. I want to do to you, what I want to be done to me.

But I just asked you not to challenge me on the list of rules and regulations.”

I removed the person from the group. It wasn’t to prove a point. I did it because, if I’m going to be a leader and people are going to respect me, it’s  because I follow through. I have to enforce the rules and regulations that we set in place. Otherwise, the entire group will run amuck.

This is the same if you run a congregation or a sports team or a school class or a family. People are looking to you. Do you follow through?

As a parent, you tell your kid that there will be a consequence for doing something they shouldn’t do.  When this happens and then there’s no follow through, they won’t respect you. Because they don’t respect you, you can not lead. You can not lead without respect.

Your Actions Determine the Outcome

being a leader vs. being in charge man cracks whip at employees

Sometimes, whether you’re a leader or in charge, bad things will happen. It’s how you respond, not react, that will determine the outcome.

If you’re running a business and people don’t like you or don’t respect you, it’s time to take a look at the methods that you’re providing.

Are you playing favorites or making promises that you don’t keep? Are you reacting, behaving weird and making people uncomfortable with the inconsistent behavior?

If they don’t know what to expect and they don’t know how to respond, they can’t fall in line. They can not follow you. Does that make sense?


People respect you when they know they can count on you - Angela Brown ObererIn my private Facebook group, I can not be there 24 hours a day. I run a business. As I’m off running my business, weird things happen in the group.

The cool part is that the people in the group know the rules and know they will be enforced. They will come to my defense. They jump in and say, “Oh, you can’t do that. That’s not allowed in this group.” We’ve kicked good people out of the group for doing that, and the other person’s like, “Oh. I didn’t know.”

When there is respect, the followers become leaders. There is no way I could run the group by myself. It’s leaning on the other leaders in the group that create the success of the group. 

People don’t have to like you (it’s nice if they do,) but if they respect you, only then are you in a position to lead. There is a huge difference between being in charge and being a leader.

All righty, I hope this helps a little bit. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box –

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness –

The Magic of Thinking Big –

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less –

The Truth About Money –

Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap for an Exceptional Career –

The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness-

Extra Mile: 500 Customer Service Tips for Success: Tools to Attract, Satisfy, & Retain Even the Most Difficult Customer –

The Big Book of Small Business: You Don’t Have to Run Your Business by the Seat of Your Pants –

Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less –

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