An article that provides an interesting twist on the concept of “Management By Walking Around (MBWA)”. The author highlights that this is the wrong approach because it places the responsibility on the leader to try to observe what is going wrong or what could be improved. What would work better is a new term, “Leadership By Serving Around (LBSA).”
Instead of looking for problems, the leader simply asks “How can I help?” This immediately empowers your followers since you are now seeking their advice. By encouraging them to voice their concerns and getting them to offer their thoughts on how to solve issues, your followers will likely become much more engaged – “someone is listening to me!”
In order to make this technique effective, the author highlights that it must be done on a weekly basis, with demonstrable follow-up, and not simply be a one-shot deal. The author also cautions that leaders must avoid talking too much and should instead do a lot of listening.
Old school leadership is out by Roy Osing at The Globe and Mail on 12 November 2013.