Change Current Events Leadership Walking Leader



The Walking Leader’s Rule #8 focuses on leaders getting into the trenches and trying out the job of the people that are in the various front line locations in the organization. Of course, there are a few stipulations that can prevent a Walking Leader from doing someone’s job, such as lack of security clearance or equipment use certification. However, for the most part anyone and everyone in a leadership position should try out all the jobs that they can within their organization.

Recently, several investors of the Starboard Value, a hedge fund and owner of the largest stake in the Olive Garden restaurant chain did just that. They worked shifts in the kitchen and waited tables at an Olive Garden restaurant. The members of Starboard Value certainly knew that they had to get a realistic feel of what it is like to work at Olive Garden, especially after getting bashed by its customers and critics for its bad food, too much waste (i.e., unlimited bread sticks and salad) and overall dated look and attitude.

The hedge fund owners of the restaurant chain certainly stunned many by taking the initiative, jumping into the trenches, and filling a few sand bags or in this case, waiting tables and cooking up some pasta e fagioli.

In The Walking Leader, I mention how important it is for leaders to get a true understanding of all the jobs that are performed in the organization. It gives the leaders a unique perspective on how things are done now versus how things were done in the past.

Having the Starboard Value hedge fund leaders dive right in to the thick of it, they get to see what the front line staff see all the time. If only ALL organizations (private and public sector) had such leadership and initiative there would not be half the problems we have now. Imagine, a state agency that would operate a level of competency because the state headquarters staff got an opportunity to see what life was like during the graveyard shift at a 24/7 state facility. Imagine, how organizations such as Enron would have had a difficult time hiding all the nonsense they did manage to hide. Who knows Enron might still have been a major player in the energy industry?

Since this “TRY OUT THEIR WORK” event took place, Darden Restaurants stock value has climbed “4% and hit a new all-time high in the process.” This is good for Darden, Starboard Value, stock holders and most of all to its customers. It is the customer that is currently and will continue to benefit the most.

Disclosure: I own stock in DARDEN RESTAURANTS [NYSE: DRI]. It is not a lot but I do have Darden stock in my portfolio.

THE WALKING LEADER: The 20 Rules You Can Follow Now to Guide You Down the Path of Leadership Greatness is the first book in the Walking Leader series written by David G. Guerra.
(click here to order a paperback copy or for Amazon Kindle )


blog Current Events Leadership

#LEADERSHIP IN THE NEWS: A Close Call In Chicago

A disaster was avoided yesterday in Chicago. It seems that two aircraft were on a collision course as they were preparing to take off from Chicago Midway International Airport.

Both aircraft, Delta and Southwest heard the same take-off clearance command from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower.

Seeing what was transpiring on the ground the control tower called for the Delta aircraft to immediately, “Stop, Stop, Stop!” Both flights stopped some 2000 feet of the intersection where the collision would have taken place.

So how could this have happened?

The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is the flight numbers of both aircraft: Delta was flight 1328 and Southwest had the flight number 3828. The last two digits are the same and over the radio at the very busy Chicago Midway International Airport it can happen. OK, it did happen.

Having heard ATC Tower to aircraft radio transmissions before, I have a difficult time keeping track of who and what’s what. Fortunately, I am a novice and not piloting a 75 ton aircraft with a hundred or so people on board. This is will happen again.

How can this be prevented? The answer is quite simple.

Now, at this point you are asking yourself, what does all this have to do with leadership?


Paying attention to the detail is CRITICAL! It is essential to being a success! It is mandatory when it comes to doing your job. I would say that there can be nothing less than complete attention to detail when it comes to flying an airplane or open heart surgery or filling out a tax form or anything and everything else you do in your chosen vocation and in life in general.

Had the Delta Aircraft heard the entire call sign “Southwest 3828” instead of assuming it was his turn to go based on the last two digits this post would not be written.

Should you find yourself in a situation that you are not to sure you heard what you heard ask for clarification because it is ALWAYS better to be safe than it is to be sorry.  Asking for clarification reinforces the attention to detail.


blog Change Current Events Leadership

#LEADERSHIP IN THE NEWS: Planning an Prison Break?

#Leadership in the news: Planning a Prison Break?

By now, almost everyone has heard of the two escapees from the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York State. By now, the news is getting old and a little tiring. These two guys escaped from prison so what? It happens all the time. It really does! Somewhere in the world someone is trying to come up with a way to get out of the prison they are currently confined. Their escape plan might include flying themselves over the prison walls. They could be planning to dig a tunnel that would rival anything seen on Hogan’s Heroes or whatever they could be cooking up.

You would be surprised at just how many escapes are being formulated at this very moment. However, in the case of the two escapees in New York, they planned this escape for five months. They came up with the plan; they worked the plan that included getting others involved. They then fine-tuned the plan. Then executed the plan. When things went wrong they adjusted their plan. This worked because as of this writing, they have not been re-captured.

So what does this have to do with leadership? It has plenty to do with leadership. All leaders must know how to and properly utilize the planning process.

It is all about plans and planning. The convicts planned an escape. The prison system had a plan in place on dealing with an escape, prison riots, when a prisoner gets a Dear John letter. There is even a plan for when the inmates use the restroom or shower.

When the escape took place, someone was not there to execute her part of the plan, thus the plan became worthless. However, as they have not been recaptured it is obvious that the two escapees have adjusted their plan and remain on the run.

For the correctional facility, the plan to recapture the escapees has not gone as anticipated. They deployed search parties, set up roadblocks, even went door to door to no avail. While they are still executing their plan, the expected outcome is yet to be achieved. Thus, this plan while not yet rendered worthless continues to be adjusted accordingly.

This makes it a classic example of General Eisenhower’s famous quote, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

They both had a plan of action that they were able to follow until the moment something happened that was not part of the plan. There are just too many variables (both known and unknown) that influence the outcome of any plan.

Q: What do you do when your plans do not got as planned?

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT advocating the escape of any convicted criminal from any correctional or detention facility. They are in a CORRECTIONAL FACILITY for a reason and are expected to remain there until they have successfully completed their sentence or properly released.