The best executives with whom I have worked make a point of hitting the road.
Executives who get out of their offices and make treks to the front lines, as well as to customer locations, get firsthand impressions of what is happening, as well as what is not happening. And it’s not enough to show up.
You need to engage. Have real conversations about how the work is going, and especially listen to how people respond.
Ask questions. And, most important, listen to what you hear.
Hitting the road to discover what’s going on is time-consuming and wearying, but it is necessary for any executive who expects to lead with a clear head, and an even more clear vision of the future.