The best executives with whom I have worked make a point of hitting the road.
Executives who get out of their offices and make treks to the front lines, as well as to customer locations, get firsthand impressions of what is happening, as well as what is not happening. And it’s not enough to show up.
You need to engage. Have real conversations about how the work is going, and especially listen to how people respond.
Ask questions. And, most important, listen to what you hear.
Hitting the road to discover what’s going on is time-consuming and wearying, but it is necessary for any executive who expects to lead with a clear head, and an even more clear vision of the future.
John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts. Baldoni is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”
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