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Big Switch

Walk a mile in your employees' shoes--you could learn a lot.

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This story appears in the August 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In TLC's six-part series Now Who's Boss?, the heads of six corporations were sent to the "front lines" to perform their employees' duties, with amusing results. These execs took this opportunity to gain new perspectives-and respect-for their employees. Examples include the Pizza Kitchen co-founders who tried being food servers, pizza makers and dishwashers; while the chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels made beds and flipped omelettes. While entertaining, the show also sends a message to owners-everyone has an important role in the business' success.

Entrepreneurs can learn just as much from the show as the heads of corporations. "We don't know all the nuances each employee brings to the [business]," says Patti Lewis, professor for American University in Washington, DC, and former entrepreneur. "All associates want is [to] be respected for what they do."

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