I’m writing this article while away from our home office. I have been traveling more than usual in the last month because of various speaking engagements, and when I look at the month ahead, I’m gone even more. In fact, I will be out of the office about 80 percent of the time over the next two months – and I’m feeling it! Not so much from a stamina or even work-life balance point of view, but from a management perspective, my absence is affecting our team’s ability to make decisions and perform.
I simply need more face time with staff. To be clear, I trust the majority of our staff implicitly, and I don’t think so highly of myself that the organization can’t function without me. However, I am finding that there are some challenges and discussions that would be better addressed in person.
Now that I am considering my current schedule, I realize I have become complacent in considering my role as a leader when it comes to being physically present and available for in-person conversations. Yes, there are many things us leaders can manage by phone or email, but sometimes we just need to meet in person. Which of course is hard to do when you are only in the office 20 percent of the time!
“There are many things leaders can manage by phone or email, but some conversations and challenges are better addressed in person.”
To counteract my time away from the office, I’ve decided to schedule weekly in-office days for the months of April and May. I’m actually marking these days in my calendar (I still use an old-school, hard-copy calendar) so that they are intentional. While networking with clients and speaking at events is important to our business, so is being available to meet with staff. There should be a balance, but right now mine is off.
What about you? Do you need more face time with staff?
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