20% Walk Around Time And Other Tips for Successful CEOs
If the most powerful thing leaders do is connect, the most dangerous is isolation. (Inspired by Henry Mintzberg .)
“Half of Americans view themselves as lonely,” David Cordani, chief executive of Cigna. (NPR.)
Cigna surveyed 20,000 adults online across the country. … Fifty-six percent reported they sometimes or always felt like the people around them “are not necessarily with them.”
Leaders who habitually close the door and plow through work – because there’s so much to do – are falling behind where it matters most.
Relationship building is messy but necessary. Schedules are full. People aren’t perfect.
9 relationship building tips for CEOs:
“It’s all about building the relationships that create trust. It’s not rocket science but most managers don’t do it. They don’t take the time to do it.” (The Front-Line Leader, by Chris Van Gorder, CEO of Scripps Health.)
- Don’t act superior. Take care of the people who take care of others.
- Dress like a person. In general, wear what employees wear.
- Do their job. Once a month spend a day on the front-line.
- Answer every email from an employee.
- Go to the gemba (the real place). Van Gorder spends 20% of his time walking around.
- Have no secrets.
- Support employees every way you can.
- Swear off layoffs.
- Give clear responsibilities and let employees know they’re accountable.
(Adapted from Inc)
The down and dirty:
When you connect with people, you see their disappointing qualities, often because they aren’t like you.
- Accept people.
- Leverage their strengths.
- Compensate for their weaknesses.
When someone lacks the ability to perform core job responsibilities:
- Redesign their job.
- Or remove him/her.
“An organization belongs on a sick list when … “good human relations” become more important than performance and achievement.” Peter Drucker
The rule is results through relationships, not results or relationships.
What are the dangers of isolation in leadership?
How might leaders build relationships with employees?
One danger of becoming isolated is that the leader is often perceived as fearful and weak by “barricading” themselves in their office, even if their own intent is to be busy with important tasks. A weak leader cannot be effective. As stated, trust is the key and can’t really be created apart from the relationships built through the day to day contacts between leaders, staff and line personnel. Someone said “to know as we would be known” to our fellow travelers on the journey.
Thanks Jim. It’s great that you came at this with an appreciation for perception. A closed door sends a message. You’re right, it takes strength to be a relational leader, especially when you have to do tough things.
You can just have a conversation with #1: Don’t act superior. Take care of the people who take care of others.
This really comes down to servant leadership. If you help others achieve what they want, provide them with what they need, they’ll not only do their job but also help you achieve yours.
How many times have you had a boss that told you to do this because I said so, or used their position as a fear tactic?
“3. Do their job. Once a month spend a day on the front-line.”
Dan, is this realistic? Most senior leaders/managers simply aren’t capable to carrying out the day to day work of their organisations, especially if it’s there a large technical aspect.
If everybody you talk to agrees with you, then you’ve likely surrounded yourself with yes-staffers or you’ve created an atmosphere where people are scared to speak up.
Don’t make a major decision unless you’ve talked to somebody who made a strong argument for not making that decision and listened seriously to them.
Changing your mind shows that you’re observant and understand that circumstances change and no one person has all the answers; it’s not flip-flopping or being weak.
I once had a supervisor that told me he didn’t want “yes men.” And then proceeded to get an angry everytime someone didn’t agree with him.
The best way to build a perfect relationship especially with employees is to create an awareness of team-play during meet-up with the team, to create a challenge platform of creativity and to welcome feedback in every angle. Crafting time out less than 40 minutes create a positive impact in the team ’cause everyone now knows and understands that you care about them and are free to voice out their challenges and creative feedback on the next step to trail upon… THANKS!