5 Ways to Show Up Like a Leader and Build Culture Every Day
Isolation propagates arrogance in ourselves and confusion about others.
The worst things leaders do is disconnect from the people around them.
Get out of your office is you want to show up like a leader.
#1. Know why you’re showing up.
- How do you want people to feel about themselves when you’re around?
- How do you want people to feel about you when you walk away?
- What do you want people to think about after you leave their area?
#2. Show up to learn.
Relax. The pressure to have answers blocks connection. Show interest in people. Ask questions.
- What are you working on?
- What can I do to help you excel at your job? (I assume they know what success looks like.)
- Once in awhile, ask, “What are we doing that actually makes it more difficult to get work done?” Drucker wrote, “Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.”
#3. Show up to let people know what others are doing.
“I was just over at marketing and they’re working on the same project you’re working on.”
#4. Show up to say what you see.
Look around and notice things. Notice people, environments, and processes. When you say what you see, your interpretation could be off base. Stay open. Say, “Tell me more.”
#5. Show up to explain impact.
Explain how performance in one area impacts others. Choose something they doing and explain how it makes things better for others.
4 quick tips:
- Show up to clarify what matters now.
- Don’t show up at the same time everyday. If you do, you’ll see the same things.
- Don’t make people wonder what you’re after.
- Show up and follow up. Drop an email to encourage, reinforce, or clarify.
How might leaders show up and build culture?
Keep your office door open, unless you have critical communications requiring privacy.
The points you have identified are critical, mingle with your staff/workers, help stream line their process to become simple. We have cluttered so much micro management the workers soon become non-productive for longer periods due to redundant paper work, rules, regulations and unnecessary processes.
Dan, what you have identified here is critical and an aspect of leadership that surprised me when I moved from the field to corporate headquarters. At first I saw these necessary interactions and “pop ins” as a distraction. Over time I have realized that these interactions are the highest priority. Everything else is the distraction. The further I grow in my career, the more my focus is on people. And these interactions are how I grow, encourage, motivate, evaluate and course correct my organization strategy.
When the team members are remote, how do you “pop-up” as a manager? A phone call does not have the same result with physican contact.
Dan, this is very much the idea of “gemba walks” in the Lean community. I think showing up has to be done very routinely so that it does not become a “spot inspection” or a social event but a way of doing business. Communication goes both ways. The “shop floor” (for lack of a better term) can benefit from leader communication but can also benefit the leader.
Dan, I love the walk-around leadership style. Critically important to supporting the team, creating a great culture and getting that teamwork going. Nice article!!