Friday, February 5, 2010

Leading from the front lines

One important thing that all managers must remember is to stay in touch with the employees and the troops on the ground.

It is very easy to be busy doing 'manager' type jobs and roles. Through becoming so busy it is easy to lose touch with the heart and soul of the organisation.

The challenge is finding ways to stay in touch and in the trenches. It is easier to lead using the organisational structure to carry out your commands, however the troops will have far more respect and trust in a leader that can be seen and not just heard.

Here a few ideas -
  1. Calendar specific time to do tasks and jobs that may be menial to you but are important to the organisation as a whole.

  2. Delegate tasks. Prioritise your tasks for the day and delegate the tasks that are not really going to be adding value to the organisation.

  3. Help. Lend a hand to your employees and understand what it is that they actually do in their jobs.

  4. Be available more often.

  5. Make time to talk your employees daily or if you have a bigger job - at least fortnightly. The less visible you are - the visible is the vision of the organisation.

  6. Lead by example - not by mission statements, posters or pod casts. People follow people.

Why am I blogging about this?

Once a year we have the biggest event of the year - graduation. Where were the leaders when the employees were doing the hard yards? Such as - setting out chairs, ordering regalia, parking cars etc etc etc.

They were nowhere to be seen. On such an auspicious occasion that would be expected.

But what about f the leadership did the unexpected? What about if the leadership turned out early and help put the chairs out? What if the leadership were in the car park doing traffic duty?

What message would that carry to the organisation? It would say - graduation is important, and as the leader I value these little jobs that make the whole day a success.

Actions speak far louder than words.

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