Imagine a world where email, the internet, and cell phones don’t exist. For some of us, this is not too hard to do. After all, it was only about 20 years ago. There is no doubt that we have made significant progress in communicating with our teams. But we are losing something extremely important to leadership: MBWA.
Management By Wandering Around (MBWA) is not a new concept; it’s been around for a long time. But its principles are being suffocated by the technological advances in today’s workplace. Leaders send emails for just about everything. They read reports then send an email with questions. They send recognition, encouragement, disappointments, and unfortunately even discipline via email.
Put the keyboard down. Get out of the leather chair and the air-conditioned office and actually spend time interacting with your staff and your teams. It shows that you are approachable. Answer questions, ask questions, and learn about the key elements of their jobs. Remember that every number on a report represents a person, process, or system that is driving that result.
I have a simple rule for leaders. Spend one hour per week recognizing employees for going above and beyond and then share those examples with other leaders. People deserve face-to-face recognition and appreciation. Many organizations use electronic forms of recognition but the more successful leaders bypass those and deliver a solid handshake and a pat on the back. Plus, you get to see the person smile and say “thanks.”
You won’t get that after hitting “send.”
My name is Mark Behl. My passion is leadership. I share ideas, not lectures. If you would like to share an idea with me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you come back for future posts.