Management by Walking Around, a.k.a. Leadership

Posted by David Grossman on Wed,May 26, 2010

If you want to know what’s going on with your team, ask.  Schedule time to walk around and ask questions.  It’s been called Management By Walking Around (MBWA); I prefer to think about it as Knowing What the Heck Is Really Going On (KWHIRGO). Or, you might just call it leadership because it’s a strategy that effective leadercommunicators employ.


Your visibility shows you care, and chances are, you’ll learn a ton from your conversations that you otherwise wouldn’t know.  Typically, the biggest barrier to managing by walking around is the fear of doing it, and specifically, knowing what to ask.  Not to mention the myth of time: “I don’t have time to do it.”  The reality is that if you thought it was important, you’d make the time (and then make the most of that time).

Here are the open-ended questions that are a sure-fire way to get close to your team members and understand how things are going:


  • What’s keeping you up at night?
  • What are you working on?
  • What’s most exciting to you right now?
  • Give me one thing that’s going well….and something that could be better.
  • What’s one skill you’re working on today from a development standpoint?
  • I always appreciate tough questions.  What’s a tough question you have of me?

You’ll be surprised and pleased with the answers you get, and what you learn in the process.  No question about it!


- David Grossman



Quick Assess DiagnosticFree Assessment: Take our QuickAssess Diagnostic

Communications Professionals: How is your team performing?

QuickAssess is a fast and easy diagnostic to help you determine in what areas your team can improve >>

Tags: Leadership Communication, Leadership Effectiveness & Planning

    About leadercommunicator blog

    What does it take to be a leadercommunicator?

    The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. With high level tips on engagement and connection, insights into employee motivations and behavior, and firsthand stories from the frontlines of America’s leading companies.

    The leadercommunicator blog is instructive, entertaining, and a must-read for leaders, communicators, and leadercommunicators.

    Subscribe by Email



    David Grossman - The Relationship Between Corporate Culture and Performance in the WSJ
    Take the Email-Free Vacation Pledge