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March 1, 2017

Successful Leaders Get Out of Their Office (MBWA)

Don't Hide in Your Office—Do Rounds

It’s a basic theory—and it works. Allocate time each month to walk the halls, eat lunch in the cafeteria, talk face-to-face with the factory manager or employees on the floor.


Ensure that on every trip, you spend time talking with employees at the location. Schedule these activities in your calendar, just like any other appointment. 

Learn and Build Trust by Walking Around

A company president who I work with makes a point when visiting sites to talk with everyone who’s working there. While he meets with management too, he dedicates much of his time to frontline employees. He learns from them, and everyone knows one of his top priorities is the people who interact every day with that organization’s customers. Successful leaders make rounds because they understand this truth: It’s easier for people to trust you when they get to know and see you. Let people see you, be present in multiple ways, and get to know others—and let them get to know you, too.

Include Remote Workers in Your Interactions

Keep in mind that your interactions with employees also need to include remote workers. Use technology appropriately to create channels of communication so that employees can reach out to you when they have a question, concern or idea. Don’t commit to this, however, unless you plan to answer the questions or emails yourself. Employees know canned responses or those that don’t sound like they’re coming from you.

In what ways do you create channels of communication with your employees?

—David Grossman

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Tag(s): Leadership

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