Lead From Your Feet

Last week I wrote about “being where your feet are” and the need to be present as a leader. It’s so important that we are in the moment when we talk with members of our team. If our minds wander elsewhere, it sends a message that there are more important things than the present conversation. This causes team members to question their own value and how much the leader really cares.

This week I want you to think about where your feet actually are. Herm Edwards, former National Football League head coach, says there are two styles of coaching, “you can coach from your seat, or you can coach from your feet.” The coach who coaches from his seat stays in the office watching film, developing strategy, and preparing for the next opponent. The coach who coaches from his feet, gets out among the team to influence the culture. He visits the weight room while the team is lifting; he visits the training room to talk to players as they are getting treatment or taped for practice; he walks through the locker room to have informal conversations with his players.

As leaders, we have the same choice. We can “lead from our seat, or lead from our feet.” If we want to monitor the morale and influence the culture, we need to get out of the office and engage the team. Peters and Waterman, in their 1982 book In Search of Excellence, called this Management By Walking Around (MBWA). The value of MBWA and leading from your feet still holds true today. So get out there and be with your team. Move your feet to where they are and then, remember to be where your feet are!

Thanks for reading,

Jim

P.S. – Follow me on Twitter, @jvearle, visit my website, jvearle.com, and please share my blog with others who LOVE leadership and positivity!

 

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