Leadership Beyond a Title

Laura Weisman

Managing Director ~ Enterprise SaaS Sales ~ Culture Strategist ~ Recognition Expert.

This is a true story that highlights the actions one man has taken to exemplify how leadership goes far beyond a title. For the last two years my son has interacted with an employee at Miller Waste Systems. His name is Rolland. Every Thursday morning at 7am our recycling is picked up in our neighborhood. For those of you who have a four-year-old, I am sure you have seen the passion and excitement that goes along with the garbage truck. It is a weekly occurrence that our son Landon looks forward to.

Each week Rolland and his team collect our recycling, but his actions go far beyond just that. Rolland and Landon have developed a friendship. Each week Rolland ensures that he takes the time to stop and wave to Landon, give a quick honk of the horn and continues with his day. That simple gesture starts my child’s day on the right foot, with a smile on his face.

Over the last few months Landon has made chalk signs for Rolland, ensured that “garbage men” were on his signs to recognize essential workers, provided waters during the heat wave and most recently, on the request of Rolland, Landon made him a picture that he promised to keep in his truck. 

This past week, we were not home for our regular recycling pick up. Little did we know Rolland had a surprise for Landon. On our neighbor’s steps, he left the following note and hat. 

“To: Landon From: Rolland Now ya part of the team. Miller Boyz 😊

Landon was officially part of the Miller Boyz. The joy that Landon had when he got home to this surprise gift is one that I will remember for a long time. His friend had made him part of this exclusive club. If you ask Landon what he wants to do when he grows up, it is to become a garbage man.

You see, to Landon, a garbage man (or in this case a recycle man) is a leader and someone he aspires to be. Rolland has exemplified what leadership looks like and is a good reminder for us all.


A leader should be passionate about what they do. Rolland always has a smile on his face while doing what some would consider a “dirty job”. We back onto a school and each Thursday morning we see Rolland preparing for his day. He looks over the truck to ensure mirrors are lined up. Does a few stretches to get the body loose.  He is prepared for his day and I have no doubt that he gives it his all. As leaders, we need to ensure that our teams can sense our passion for what we do. Whether it is collecting garbage, selling software, teaching children or any other role, it is important that we love what we do as our employees will pick up on that passion.


Rolland could have taken Landon’s picture and brought it home or left it at work, but instead he followed through and proudly displayed Landon’s artwork in his truck. As leaders, we need to have our teams trust us. Following through with our commitments is just one way that we can do that. 


Rolland showed appreciation for the little things that Landon did to brighten his day. He ensured that Landon knew how much the little gestures that he did, meant to him. Showing appreciation for our teams and their work creates a ripple down effect. Leaders that can consistently display gratitude will get a higher return from their employees on multiple levels.

I am a huge fan of the John Quincy Adams quote:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, to do more and become more, then you are a leader.” 

For many of you reading this, you might not have the title behind your name, but what you do have is the ability to influence. Every person has that ability and it is your choice how you rise to become a leader. Rolland has influenced a young man’s life as well as my own. Miller Waste Systems should be proud of him and the culture that they have created to allow him to lead in this way.

Published by

Laura Weisman

Managing Director ~ Enterprise SaaS Sales ~ Culture Strategist ~ Recognition Expert.

Leadership is within all of us. It is our interactions on a day to day basis with people and the influence we have with them. An amazing employee at Miller Waste Systems Inc. has blown me away over the last two years, as he has gone the extra mile to lead by example. His leadership style focuses on Passion, Integrity and Gratitude. He may not have a title in the traditional sense but his leadership delivers an incredible customer experience. As leaders, are we creating an environment and providing the resources to allow our employees to lead without a title? #customerexperience #culture #employeeexperience #leadership

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