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 .)

Relationship building:

“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.)

  1. Don’t act superior. Take care of the people who take care of others.
  2. Dress like a person. In general, wear what employees wear.
  3. Do their job. Once a month spend a day on the front-line.
  4. Answer every email from an employee.
  5. Go to the gemba (the real place). Van Gorder spends 20% of his time walking around.
  6. Have no secrets.
  7. Support employees every way you can.
  8. Swear off layoffs.
  9. 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.

  1. Accept people.
  2. Leverage their strengths.
  3. Compensate for their weaknesses.

When someone lacks the ability to perform core job responsibilities:

  1. Remediate.
  2. Reassign.
  3. Redesign their job.
  4. 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?