Management by walking around, popularized back in the '80s, may be making a comeback. One reason: For building rapport among team members, it beats emailing from behind closed doors.
Since 2009, Interaction Associates, a consulting firm based in Boston that advises on human resources and company leadership, has run a survey that measures how much employees trust the leaders who run their businesses. As of this year, the percentage of respondents who said they see their bosses as collaborative and trustworthy is at an all-time low.
When Paul Betts worked as a software developer atMicrosoft (MSFT), he grew frustrated by the number of meetings he had to attend. So he coded a program that linked up with his Outlook schedule. It checked the job titles of his fellow attendees at the gatherings he doodled his way through, estimated their salaries, and then tallied up the amount of money wasted at each scheduled sit-down. The average meeting frittered away about $500. “In a typical 40-hour workweek, I’d have maybe 20 to 30 hours of meetings,” says Betts. “Too little is accomplished.”
As an entrepreneur, you are probably a big picture thinker--the visionary leader driving your company and team forward.
So, it's also natural that as the founder or CEO, you probably like to communicate. Whether glued to your cell phone, chatting via email or just grabbing someone at random for a rapid-fire brainstorm, you are rarely at a lost for words.
Over the course of nearly 25 years and four best-selling books, Jim Collins has set out to systematically unlock the mystery of what makes great companies tick. In his most recent book, Great by Choice, Collins and his co-author, Morten T. Hansen, examine companies that have turned in exceptional performance—10 times the industry average—despite operating in turbulent environments marked by constant surprises. He says he wrote the book with entrepreneurs in mind—"to help them navigate from small to great, especially when they feel like small, vulnerable specks out there in a tumultuous world." Inc. editor-at-large caught up with Collins at his office in Boulder, Colorado.
Years ago, General Motors (GM) launched a marketing campaign to attract new buyers to an old concept: the Cadillac. Declining sales led GM to update its classic model to appeal to new and younger car owners. Like the Cadillac, the concept of leadership in family medicine is in need of a makeover to suit a new generation of leaders. Traditional notions of leadership were espoused at a time when the majority of physician leaders were male, the doctor-patient model was patriarchal and life balance was defined as one early afternoon tee-time, never mind the countless sleepless nights and missed family dinners.
Today, shifting demographics and values require new models of leadership.
It’s easy for leaders to fall into the trap of thinking they need to have the answer to every problem or situation that arises. After all, that’s in a leader’s job description, right?