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May 12, 2009


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Keith Ayers

Thanks for the great comments. Tom Peters and Robert Waterman made the term "management by walking around" famous many years ago in their best selling book "In Search of Excellence", and perhaps it was over-used. Many of the companies mentioned fell from grace, and their research has also been questioned, but do we need to "throw out the baby with the bath water?" The principle still applies today... employees need to know their leaders as people; to see them and be able to communicate with them. Then trust will soar.

Laura Hauser

Thanks for this article and the research reference. I want to share it with my MBA students at Pepperdine where I teach a course on organization design and advanced principles of leadership.


One of our senior leaders has just started taking groups of front-line employees out to lunch. I haven't heard how it's being received, since this just started in the last couple of weeks. But I think it's a step in the right direction of opening up communication, especially on the listening side.


Keith, I think some of the best examples of senior leadership I've seen are CEOs spend their time out on the factory floor talking with their employees. If CEOs take the view that people are their most important asset (see recent Financial Times article on the turnaround of Jack Welch former GE CEO) then perhaps they would have more time to do develop openness and acceptance with their people. Great article, thank you. Perhaps a good tie-in to your former post I Don't Have Time!.

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