Should Owners And Leaders Manage By Walking Around?

By August 10, 2022 No Comments

As leaders, we are expected to model behaviors that will lead to positive relationships, superior results, and success on the job.

This will require a keen focus on:
• Ownership – acting like an owner and taking ownership of your Business Plan and results.
• Leadership – you must lead your people; you must model a new behavior.
• Management – you need to manage your Business Plan, your daily Operations Reports, and your team like never before.
• Accountability – there will be a heightened focus on accountability going forward. No longer can goals be ignored and explained away. We must make good plans and manage them as if it were our own business.

Let’s talk about ownership and managing by walking around. As an owner, you know that you are not allowed to silently sanction bad behavior and everything you do speaks! As an example, what if you took the approach you were managing your candy store? In your store, some employees saw a coworker taking candy home every day for their family. They might look the other way. They might rationalize that they do not need or want to get involved; some might say, “It is not my candy, it is not my store.”

However, those who act like an owner would address the situation promptly. They are taking money out of the cash register before the bills and employees are paid, and potentially putting your family in jeopardy. There are many instances where a leader sees a situation that must be addressed but looks the other way or ignores it because they are not acting like an owner and do not feel like an owner.

This is unacceptable behavior for a leader. As a leader, you cannot silently sanction bad behavior. This responsibility to address issues, as you see them, is one of the biggest reasons that many leaders do not manage by walking around, because they recognize they have ZERO chance of seeing bad behaviors they will have to address if they never leave their office.

Great leaders accept the responsibility and manage by walking around. Sadly, many are the “see no evil” manager who never leaves their office. This is a short-sighted and dangerous view of leadership responsibilities. If you marginalize and denigrate compliance, ethical behavior, legal and operational issues, you are only putting off today what you will have to address tomorrow in a bigger way. These are “loose lug nuts” that cause major accidents when they are not tightened and addressed. The consequences for an owner and leader not tightening the “lugnuts” may result in a loss of their business, reputation, or worse. The view from an ownership perspective also helps to achieve the greatest balance. Not only does walking the talk set the tone from the top, but it also helps you to become an avid communicator, which will result in a culture of trust, empowerment, and inclusion.


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