Do you aspire to be a better leader in 2008? If so, you may consider walking slower through your office or shop talking to folks more than you do today.
In lean speak we often use the phrase genchi genbutsu which basically means to go to the floor to see what is happening. In other words, problems are not solved in conference rooms – instead they are solved on the gemba – or the place the actual work is done.
Along this same spirit I believe it is equally important we as leaders take the time to head to the gemba and simply talk to people. Get to know them. Ask them about their kid’s baseball game. Let them know you are a decent person with a heart and soul just like them.
Once you build a solid personal and professional relationship with these folks improvement will come much easier and be far more enjoyable.
Of course this does not mean you have to be best friends with everyone. Further, a leader must be careful to not cross the line (especially after hours at the bar). But if you are viewed as a high and mighty outsider you are in for tough sledding.
The best leaders I have known walk through the office or shop and literally get bombarded with smiles, hellos, and high fives. Interestingly enough these same leaders consistently meet or exceed their operational goals quarter after quarter.
Why is this? I believe it’s partly due to the fact they have taken the time to connect with their employees on both a personal and professional level. A simple concept yet far more daunting than most realize.
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