I recently heard this about the social media world: If you are not there, no one will miss you. With all the noise out there in the clouds, I have no doubt that is true. However, that sentiment does not apply to leadership. On the contrary, if you are not there, your employees will miss you.
Whether you realize this or not your employees notice everything you do. For instance, when you march into the office every morning, go straight to your office and close the door, they notice. When you come out of your office and make a bee line to a meeting, to the break room or to your car at the end of the day, they notice. What they notice is that you did not notice them!
Your “command center” may be located behind your desk, computer and phone at your finger-tips, but the heart of your operation sits outside your office. Effective leadership happens in front of the desk, not behind it!
Being visible takes you out of your space and into your employee’s space, into their comfort zone, into the place where they produce your results!
I continue to hear horror stories about senior leaders of companies, whether start-up or fully operational, sauntering down the same beaten path to their command center day in and day out, making love to their computer and their business models and reports, but never venturing out among their peeps to see where the real work gets done. They are blind to the opportunities they are missing by continuing to follow this ineffective routine.
Having an elevated title or a corner office does not make you a leader and it certainly doesn’t give you the credibility needed to influence success. To truly connect with your employees and be able to influence their performance you must be visible!
So, get out from behind your desk, spend some time each day or each week being visible. It doesn’t have to take long.
1. Make a detour on the way to the break room or the restroom or after a meeting.
2. Take a different route to your office when you enter in the morning or whenever you leave.
3. Stop to say hello, how are you, what are you working on, is there anything I can do for you?
4. If you have to, put it on your calendar and plan your route.
Bottom line, you will learn more about your organization and your people by actually wandering around in it than you will by sitting at your desk and working on it. Your internet connection may connect you to the world outside, but it does not connect you to your peeps!
Remember… they notice everything!