It takes a love for the people and the work, coupled with a discipline to throw oneself into the work, for leaders to leave their offices. The pull to stay in your office can be strong. There are plenty of emails and plenty of meetings to keep leaders stuck in their offices. But wise leaders get out of their offices; here are five great things that happen when they do:
1. When leaders get out of their offices they encourage the team.
People are encouraged when they see leaders interested in their work, when they see that their leaders know their work is important. A leader’s interest and attention is deeply encouraging to the team.
2. When leaders get out of their offices they discover amazing people.
Each summer when I have spent time on the road at our kids and student camps, I have called leaders back at our central offices blown away with leaders with whom I had not interacted before. Some of those were summer staff that we brought to the team full-time. I would have missed these important interactions and observations if I had remained in my office.
3. When leaders get out of their offices they avoid making decisions in isolation.
Leaders who lead in isolation can easily forget how far-reaching their decisions are. Being among people reminds you that they will be impacted by your decisions. Thus getting out of your office reminds you to include others, to avoid the mistake of making decisions in isolation.
4. When leaders get out of their offices they see things that need altering.
When you get out of your office you will discover things that need altering. When you get out of your office, you will see where vision has leaked, excellence has slipped, and communication has faltered. Which is another reason the office is so compelling; it can protect you from the pain of the problems. But when you get out of your office, you will have the knowledge and the credibility to address problems effectively.
5. When leaders get out of their offices, they have credibility to address problems.
When you get out of your office you gain the insight to address problems with credibility and clarity. Leaders who remain in their offices don’t have enough knowledge to credibly address what needs tweaking. Isolated leaders lack the emotional investment to speak with convictional clarity about what needs to change. Isolated leaders come off like talking heads about problems, not leaders deeply invested in the mission and in the team.