I’ve just completed a day and a half facilitating a teambuilding session under the auspices of my allies Fish Camp Learning Sdn Bhd. Participants were put through their paces with both challenging outdoor and indoor activities, including sea rafting, and had the opportunity to know each other much better. They were very cohesive and definitely put in their best efforts. Most importantly, they enjoyed themselves thoroughly and I dare say they did pick up a thing or two about deliberately cultivating better workplace relationships.
My thoughts during this time, brought on by my observations of the behaviour of participants during the sessions, were that, if you have people in coordination roles, and they are relatively junior, you need to rotate them to shop floor roles every so often. The more senior the leadership role, the more important it is for the person filling that role to be well-grounded. I don’t expect executives to know everything that goes on in their organizations, but I do expect them to know a great deal more than those they are expected to lead and be responsible for. Younger executives on their way up need to get their hands dirty and share the toil and sweat often enough that they are able to actually be effective leaders. I had the feeling that this “feel” for the ground could be enhanced, for this group in general.
Senior executives can’t have the luxury of spending too much time on the ground, but they had better ensure that they maintain the “feel”. Makes for much more effective executives. So, keep a space-eye view, by all means. And make sure you have your feet firmly planted on solid ground.