A number of years ago author and business consultant Tom Peters coined the phrase “Management by wandering around.” The idea was to get managers out of their comfy chairs and air-conditioned offices, mixing and mingling with their employees.
Recently, someone had a typo (rich with meaning) that mentioned somebody wondering around instead of wandering around.
As a leader we should definitely be wandering around, but also wondering while we’re wandering.
For starters, wonder about:
- As a team, group or organization, trying a totally new way of doing something you do all the time instead of doing it the way you’ve always done it. You might discover ways that are more fruitful and productive.
- Turning current thinking about an idea or problem on its head (upside down or inside out) and looking at it from an entirely different angle. What if we tried this or that?
- How can we empower our people to dream more, take bigger risks?
- The single most important thing we can proactively do in the next three months that would have the best chance of making the biggest difference instead of just staying busy reacting to what comes to us.
As a leader are you:
- Spending too much time in your office and not enough time wandering among your people?
- If you have taken the first step and are out wandering, are you wondering (as you watch and listen to your people) what their problems, dreams, frustrations and concerns might be and asking good questions? What would it take to have them fully engaged and truly loving what they do?
- If you are wondering, listening and learning, are you going from thinking about something to doing something about it?
For the glory of Jesus, wander, wonder and implement new ideas because if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten and the train of change will pass you by leaving you standing in the station wondering what happened. That’s not the kind of wondering we’re talking about!