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 )


Change Leadership Walking Leader

What book will help me be a better leader?

daveguerrabookswalkingleader001005In 2013, I finished writing my first book, “The Walking Leader” which I started about six years earlier. Six years? Yes, I was still in school finishing my Masters and working for the state of Texas this it never took off until I said enough is enough.

There are many people who know that the only true way to be an authentic leader is to get up and get out. You read about that need in many business books and many more business gurus will tell you that. They tell you to get up and start walking around the company and get to know not only the people you are responsible but to meet and know everyone in the organization.

Unfortunately, that’s about all they tell you. Over the years, there have been numerous programs and systems that encourage leaders to get out there and interact with those they supervise. There was TQM, SIX SIGMA, LEAN, and so on and so on (ad nauseam). Yet, there were no rules as to what to do when the leader got out there.

Thus the reason for writing The Walking Leader became perfectly clear. The Walking Leader offers answers to one question that no one wanted to answer:

What do I do when I walk around the company? 

The Walking Leader is the result of me trying to answer that question. I came up with twenty (20) rules or suggestions to give the leader something to do than to walk around aimlessly while trying to figure out on the fly what to do and NOT do.

Now I don’t promise you that it will make you the next Patton or Jack Welch but I can promise that it can help get you on the right direction when you get out there and start walking around. Thus, you will be a better leader.

Thank you for indulging me a little shameless self-promotion. Then again, if I don’t do it who will?
Dave Guerra

You can order your copy of THE WALKING LEADER from AMAZON