Leaders Who Park In Their Privileged Parking Spots Don't Get It


You become manager, CEO, Superintendent, team leader, department head, or the like. As one of the perks to your new position, you are assigned a preferred parking spot, presumably closer to the building than the rest of the spots in the parking lot and perhaps even labeled with a sign.

And then, rather than offering the parking spot to an employee with mobility issues, or raffling your spot off each month at a staff meeting, or awarding the spot to your best performer, you actually park your car in the parking spot.

This is a clear signal that you don't get it.

A preferred parking spot is an opportunity for a boss to demonstrate a certain level of decency, camaraderie, kindness, generosity, and appreciation by forgoing the parking spot at almost no cost to themselves and impressing employees in the process.

In fact, the only cost of giving away the spot is steps. That's it. The boss will have to take extra steps each day to enter the building. A little additional exercise in exchange for an enormous amount of goodwill and appreciation.

It's a no brainer. It's the reason preferred parking spots exist. They were meant to be given away.

I have been awarded the privilege of a preferred parking spot twice in my life. Both spots were labeled with the sign. Even though I was young and fairly inexperienced at the time, I knew that there was no way in hell I was going to park my car in either those spots. In both cases, I gave my spot away on a monthly basis and garnered an enormous amount of goodwill and appreciation in the process.

Even better, in one of those situations, three other people were also awarded parking spots, and they used their spots rather than giving them away. Needless to say I enjoyed much more support from my employees than my fellow managers, for many reasons, I suspect), but this parking spot was a clear indicator of how I felt about my employees in comparison to my fellow managers.

It was great for me and terrible for them.

Frankly, I don't know how a person with preferred parking spots doesn't feel like a complete ass when they park their car in their spot. No person in any company or business is so important as to need to park closer to the building. Anyone who thinks they are important enough to require a preferred parking spot should not be in a leadership position.

Let your employees know you care by allowing them to park closer to the building. Take a hundred extra steps each day. It'll be good for you, both in terms of your health and your career.

Otherwise, I am going to assume that you don't get it.

Unfairly, perhaps, but I also won't be alone in my opinion.