Partnering Series: Leading And Being Reliable

This is part of a series of articles on partnering published on

One of the key benefits of partnering with a client is that it opens the door for cleaning contractors to play a leadership role with their customers. They trust you; they value your assistance, they see the positive results that have been accomplished. All of this elevates the cleaning contractor. You are now in a leadership role with this client.

“A leader is one that knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way,” says John C. Maxwell, author, and speaker on ways to develop leadership skills.

Now that you’ve listened to your client, understand their needs, and speak their language, it’s time to step up to the plate. Start offering suggestions such as new ways to handle cleaning and maintenance in their facility, reduce operating costs, promote sustainability, or help make the facility operate more efficiently. I work with a BSC now that has helped a major Silicon Valley company to eliminate their need for plastic liners. This has been a significant cost saving for the client and helped them meet their sustainability objectives. It was with his leadership and working in partnership with the customer that made this happen.

We must add that leadership roles are fragile, and one of the most important steps cleaning contractors must take to ensure their leadership position is to be reliable.

“The most successful people I know are also the most reliable,” says Wayne Trotman, a British filmmaker, author, speaker whose primary focus is leadership.

Let’s face it. You may be partnering with your customer, but ultimately it’s the front-line staff that is going to be doing the heavy lifting. Your job will be to make sure projects are executed and stay on track. This is the reliability they are looking for. If issues evolve, this must be discussed with the client. One way to handle this is to set up frequent project review meetings with the customer. The objective is to stay focused on the “big picture” and ensure the project is accomplished and goals are met.

Ron Segura is founder and president of Segura & Associates, an international janitorial consulting company based in the U.S. He has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the cleaning industry with ten of those years spent overseeing the cleaning of over 4.5 million square feet for The Walt Disney Company. Ron can be contacted through his company website at