Leaders: For best results, walk out

Either you run the day or the day runs you. — Jim Rohn

I read an article by Scott Mautz in Inc. magazine not long ago about the five skills employees want most from their bosses. The compilation of these skills came from a survey conducted by LinkedIn.

The top five skills were problem-solving, time management, decisiveness, empathy, and compassion.

What do you think? What would you say are the most important skills you’d like to see in your boss?

As I was thinking about what the respondents to that LinkedIn survey revealed, it also got me thinking about another way in which a boss can really make his people happy — just walk out!

No, I am not talking about walking out to never return (although that might make a few people happy), I am talking about something more useful and practical that’s found in three simple tips that can make a big difference.


The lifeblood of your organization is found outside of the protective confines of your office. Yes, you have to spend time there for obvious reasons, but getting out and among your people is essential. The answers to how, why, and what questions are on your mind about your organization are found outside your office. The greatest appreciable asset you have is not your desk, it’s your people. Get out there and be with them.


Being out among your people gives you a fresh perspective as to what’s going on in your organization. This gives you a close-up view of what’s working, what’s not, and what’s on the minds of your people. It gives you the opportunity to build relationships with your people in a non-threatening manner. Additionally, it sends a signal to your people that you are involved and engaged and care about what they do.


The benefit of being out among your people is that you can go back to your office and translate what you’ve heard into practical action steps from the people who know best. Let’s be honest, more times than not, the best ideas flow into your office, not out of it. But when you are out and among your people, if you’re smart and listening, you will pick up on the ideas and suggestions they are giving you and put them into practice.


The purpose of walking out and getting among your people, besides the reasons stated above, is to build your leadership skills. It’s about building relationships and earning trust. You can’t do that if you are detached from your people.

Effective leadership doesn’t happen in a bubble and rarely alone. Leaders need to be accessible, relatable, teachable, and in this case, mobile. When you are among your people they will see you as one of them, not above them. So do your people a favor and walk out more often!

©2020 Doug Dickerson. Doug Dickerson is an author, speaker, and leadership trainer. Read more at DougDickerson.net or email him at Doug@dougdickerson.net.

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