Trading Places: Let the Boss Do Your Work

TLC’s new reality show, Now Who’s Boss?, aired yesterday, transforming Jonathan Tisch, CEO of luxury Loews Hotels, into a bellman, line cook, concierge and housekeeper. Upcoming shows feature CEOs of Song Air Service, Estee Lauder, and California Pizza Kitchen taking on tasks of the rank and file in their organizations.

Improved employee relations, new respect for what they do, and deeper understanding of teamwork were cited as the valuable outcomes for CEOs. Loews Hotel has even created a Now Who’s Boss? Day where senior management goes through a similar process.

Is this great or what?

Sometimes I have to bellow to get senior executives I coach to get out of their offices and into the halls. Now I want to write the manual for how to do this in every organization and not just with CEOs.

What do the rest of you think? Are there any great stories out there of positive and/or negative consequences of the boss stepping down a rank or two?