Thursday, March 01, 2007

Be Available

A huge part of our job as leaders is to support our teams when they run into roadblocks. While this seems obvious, many leaders are so busy in meetings that they can never be found if a problem comes up. If you are never in your office, you need to change that. Set some office hours, delegate some meetings, or even cancel some meetings. I bet you have some meetings that aren't as important as being available to your team. If you do have to attend a bunch of meetings in the same day, make a point of doing some MBWA (management by walking around) at a break. If they can't find you, you might be able to find them instead.


Troy Worman said...

Excellent points, Ken. Leadership must be visible. Delegation and empowerment are important for growing future leaders, but another element, mentorship, is equally important. It's hard to be a mentor when your days are filled with meetings.

From afar, it is also most difficult to build shared vision. The message dillutes over distance, physical or virtual.

Pamela said...

Yes. Leaders should spare some time to be available. It's never fun spending a lot of time trying to find a way to make an appointment or even just to see them during breaks.

Anonymous said...

You are very right, Ken. Management must be available to lead.

Along with being available for adhoc issues, I find it helpful to have regularly scheduled appointments for my direct reports. I ask them to prepare the agenda for the meetings after providing some guidance as to what a good agenda template looks like. In this way, I find that even when corporate urgencies consume most of my time, I can ensure there is a regular forum to address the issues on my reports' minds.

Ken Flowers said...

Troy, Pamela and Jim:

Thanks for the comments. I love to get comments. Yours are all nice additions to the conversation.

I particularly want to resonate Jim's comment about 1-on-1s. These are our opportunity to deal with issues that don't warrant a special, ad hoc meeting. And they are our opportunity to mentor our staff.