A couple weeks ago, I felt a twinge in my gut to begin walking our headquarters and refurbishment center every day. While I’d done it in the past and enjoyed the connections with our team, it had become so easy to get into a reactive rut and simply engage direct reports, those who need active connection from an operational perspective and those I pass along the way. However, the leadership insights gained from this simple act have proven to be eye opening.

Wow, what a game changer this has been! As leaders, accessibility is incredibly important to organizational health, as our team members so often fall back on the “they’re too busy to help or interrupt” belief.

Here are the 5 Key Leadership Insights and Benefits that have immediately surfaced:

  1. The pride of seeing our team in motion: This one isn’t about external results but about the way it’s impacting me internally. Whether seeing an engineer refurbish a system, an Inventory Coordinator move equipment on a forklift, our Cosmetic Team decontaminating or painting a system or Service Team host a guest, it’s invigorating to see and be a part of. There’s so much more going on than meets the eye in any certain area! The creativity, ingenuity and effort being put forth to serve our customers around the world is just flat energizing.
  2. The chance to help bridge the gap between teams: In chatting with an engineer the other day, it was clear that there was a lack of clarity on exactly what needed to be done on a project. A quick encouragement to have them check with our Part’s Operations Leader took an extra minute on the front end that saved time and energy over the whole.
  3. The opportunity to serve a customer: While I speak with customers frequently to help find solutions and solve problems, physically working to modify a product on our customer’s behalf was deeply fulfilling. To know that the work being done help support our customer and ultimately assist in scanning thousands of patients in the years to come was a simple and yet profound and powerful reminder of the significance of what our team gets to do everyday.
  4. The space to expand my horizons: This task was a great reminder of the time involved to complete seemingly simple things. Checking boxes at a desk via email and the telephone allows for shortcuts in a way that moving through a 120,000 foot facility with varying tools and heavy objects just doesn’t. There are times when our product and project teams and customers are frustrated with how long certain projects are taking. This experience was a great reminder to recognize and appreciate the time horizon for tasks that require physical modifications and to encourage our team to lace up some steel toes and walk a mile in our technical team’s shoes before determining how long a certain task should take.
  5. The chance to tear down a wall: During my walk earlier this week, I stopped to chat with a Project Coordinator who was sweating away while working to swap covers on a set of MRI electronics. After discussing for a few, I asked if I could help. His answer was “you’re too busy to do this kind of a job.” After several end runs to dodge that answer, I simply inquired if an extra set of hands would be helpful or if it would take as much time to teach me what to do as it would be to just finish the job. Long story short, 90 minutes later, we were both sweating away as we brought the job to relative completion. What started as a task that Jordan thought wasn’t significant enough to garner my time ended up being as invigorating of an afternoon as I remember.

While each leadership position is different, access and visibility are HUGE. Gaining leadership insights help you understand your corporate environment and take action on the key takeaways. I hope this little shift and lessons learned will be helpful as you position and engage your team in new ways this coming season!

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