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Management By Walking Around

Do you practice one of the most effective management tools? The leadership pundits beg you to do it. You know you need to do it. The question is why don't we do it? Why do we not make a consistent effort to mange by walking around?

There are some significant benefits organizations gain when a leader within the organization makes it a routine priority to walk amongst his or her team. The team members feel part of something. They feel important. They feel heard. The leader learns a tremendous amount from what is being said and what is not being said. There are so many observations to make, once you leave your office and take a walk amongst the trees.

Yes, take a walk amongst the trees. See the trees not just visualize the forest from your desk. Visit with your team. Listen to their wants and concerns. Learn from them. Allow them to learn from you.

So why do we not do this? I struggled with this very question. I made a commitment to my team in Paducah that I would get out of the office. Break the chain that attached me to my desk. One of my Commissioners was even kind enough to bring me some bolt cutters. He said I could use them to cut through the chain that had me tied to my desk. Although my intentions were good, I still ended up tied to my desk. Anchored in my office more than I care to admit.

My plea to you is for your to do better than I did for the sake of your team. To be successful you have to place it on your calendar. Wait, I did that and it still was not enough. You need to place it on your calendar and then enlist an accountability buddy to make sure you get out there amongst your team. I did that as well! You just have to make sure it is your priority and it will happen. That is where I came up short. Even though I knew it was what I needed to do, I did not do it enough. A conflict of priorities seemed to come up more often than not.

Don't get me wrong, I was out more often than most of my colleagues, but I could have and should have been better. Your team needs to know you and see you. Go out amongst the trees. Talk to your team. See what their needs are. Understand them and they will garner a better understanding of you.

Go forth and conquer, stay blessed and keep shining!

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