Woody Allen has famously said, “80% of success in life is just showing up.”
Most leaders do a good job of showing up to their office and showing up in meetings.
But there’s another huge arena where some leaders quite often fail to make an appearance. It’s an arena where significant leadership gains can be made.
I’m talking about those unscheduled, unplanned, sometimes impromptu gatherings that don’t show up on your daily calendar.
It’s the lunch room, where staff are pouring their morning coffee.
It’s the lobby where church members are chatting after the service.
It’s the factory floor where workers are going about the daily grind.
When leaders take the time and make the effort to show up in these unscheduled gatherings, there are at least five huge leadership wins to be made:
1. You learn a ton about what’s REALLY going on.
You could gain more organizational intelligence when you rub shoulders with your people than you will in any formal staff meeting.
2. You can noticeably boost morale.
Face it. When the leader shows up, people notice. And it matters.
3. You can catch people in the act of doing something right.
The best way to blow torch an organizational core value is to catch someone living it out. No better way to do that than by showing up where they’re hanging out.
4. You can provide real-time coaching.
When you saddle up next to a team member, you have a unique opportunity to enhance their performance by sharing your own skills and experience.
5. You can spot your rising stars.
On the look out for talent within the organization? You’re far more likely to spot it when you’re walking about than you are in a staff meeting.
Thirty or 40 years ago, this was called “management by walking around.” But what I’m talking about is far more nuanced than merely strolling through the organization with a clipboard and a checklist.
It’s about taking a genuine interest in your people wherever they gather and acting on that interest to lead in and among them.
And it all starts by just showing up.
What leadership gains have you made by simply showing up?