A Leader Reads

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Join me as I focus a leadership lens on fantasy books and series. Current Series: The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson) Contact me: s10473@protonmail.com

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The Shadow Rising - Chapter 9 [#127]

MBWA*

    Egwene, along with Nynaeve and Elayne, try to unravel the trail the captured Black Ajah sisters offer up.  Mat keeps finding reasons not to leave while Perrin tries to find a way to get Faile to safety.  Rand works to develop his plan, while simultaneously trying to impose his will on the wayward High Lords.

    And Rand?  He met with High Lords in his chambers and issued orders.  He startled them by appearing at secret gatherings of three or four that Thom had ferreted out, just to reiterate some point from his last commands.  They smiled and bowed and sweated and wondered how much he knew.  A use had to be found for their energy before one of them decided that if Rand could not be manipulated, he must be killed. 

The Shadow Rising, p. 124 - 125

    Walking around and talking to people is an excellent way to get the latest "intel from the trenches."  Hopefully, your organization isn't as toxic as the High Lords of Tear, but Rand's intrusions are a tried and true way to understand the complexities of the issues at hand.  The folks that work for us have to live with all the decisions, policies, changes, etc that we implement.  Getting their perspective is critical - often there are complaints about "a great idea but poorly executed."  Walking around, talking to people, listening to them is really the only way to get that information.  Surveys and questionnaires are great, but somewhat negatively biased from the outset; that is, most people that respond are at the polar extremes.  That's good information to have; but the real working ground is that mid-section of the bell curve.  Getting the thoughts and issues from the bulk of the workforce that is quietly doing the business.  Somewhat paradoxically, walking around to go see the teams in action and see their challenges first hand becomes increasingly more difficult to do the further you get from the ground floor.  That's when it's most important to carve out the time in the calendar to go see what you are having the teams do.  There are plenty of problems that from their view are insurmountable, but from the leader's perspective just require a little tweak to a process already in place.  It's time well spent.

*MBWA: n. Management By Walking Around; predates the internet, email and other instantaneous communications channels and requires effort (and sometimes humility when the leader's great idea failed in execution).



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