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The Walking Leader as it applies to MBWA by David Guerra, MBA

MBWA (Management By Walking Around) “refers to a style of business management which involves managers wandering around, in an unstructured manner, through the workplace(s), at random, to check with employees, equipment, or on the status of ongoing work. The emphasis is on the word wandering as an unplanned movement within a workplace, rather than a plan where employees expect a visit from managers at more systematic, pre-approved or scheduled times.

The expected benefit is that a manager, by random sampling of events or employee discussions, is more likely to facilitate improvements to the morale, sense of organizational purpose, productivity and total quality management of the organization, as compared to remaining in a specific office area and waiting for employees, or the delivery of status reports, to arrive there, as events warrant in the workplace.”1

The Walking Leader as it applies to MBWA.

While the premise of MBWA is to go in an “unstructured manner…at random” sounds great and the spontaneity of the getting out seems the best way to catch them off guard. It is also the best way to NOT get it done, to not make it happen. When you are out of being spontaneous what have you got? You have the uncertainty of not being able to keep them on the edge or on their toes, patiently or impatiently waiting for your arrival. Eventually, that uncertainty will lead to doubt. Once doubt creeps in, the want and will to do the MBWA becomes difficult and will lead to stopping all together.

The Walking Leader calls for the intentional manner of scheduling time, planning a route and leave the spontaneity to the conversations you will encounter. By planning and scheduling time ensures that you have the time set aside to get out there and walk around. Those you are walking around to see and meet will expect you and they too can alter their schedules, as well.

Now you may ask what about the randomness. Of course, you can always mix things up. Intentionally, mix things up. The Walking Leader encourages randomness but to keep things focused on allowing those you are walking around to see and meet to continue doing their job. Never let the spontaneity and randomness of MBWA become a distraction to the workflow. Then again, never let the schedule and planning become a distraction to their workflow as well as yours.

However, as the Walking Leader you should make MBWA part of your workflow. By making the time, effort, and interaction a part of your day’s workflow you are giving yourself the ability to obtain more information, achieve higher visibility, and of course, your ability to walk your talk leads to and lends to increased credibility.
Integrating the 20 rules of the Walking Leader allows anyone to go out and about the organization loaded with the tools which can be altered to fit any leader, leader’s mission and vision, as well as any organization’s mission and vision. The twenty rules of the Walking Leader are designed to empower any leader by making them the right fit for each unique situation found in about any modern workplace, no matter the industry.

Simply, being the Walking Leader is leading by example. Management By Walking Around is the method that allows the Walking Leader to lead by example. Leading by Example is how new leaders are made. Making new leaders is the primary mission and focus of ALL Leaders.


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Things To Give Up To Be A Successful Leader: Give Up Criticism

If by now you haven’t noticed my once a week video series THE LEADERSHIP MINUTE has taken a sudden turn. I found myself slowly turning the Leadership Minute from a minute long video to a seven – eight minutes mini-movie. I was too wrapped up on giving more and more I slipped away from giving what I was promising. After speaking to my operations consultant, she advised me to get back to my roots. To go back to a one minute (approximately) long LEADERSHIP MINUTE.


Things To Give Up To Be A Successful Leader

Give Up Criticism

Criticism is defined as the “expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.” As a leader, you have no excuse to criticize others. Especially, those you lead, that follow you and especially never criticize others in public or out loud.

Now of course, if someone asks you to criticize their work, performance, or activity. Then by all means go ahead and criticize away. Criticize it up!

However, never voluntarily criticize. There will be times and places where, as a leader, you have to say something. Say it away from the public in a nice one-to-ones session. One the next episode of the Leadership Minute I will explain a bit more about why it is important to keep criticism at bay and when it must be done done in a professional manner full of tact and honesty.

Criticism is a luxury that as leader you can no longer afford to participate in. Criticism is not what your followers expect from you. What they expect is a leader that is going to take them places, make them feel comfortable, make them a success. In essence people, your followers, want you to make them a leader. Yes, they want to be a leader, they follow you because they see something in you they like. They want to emulate that.

Criticism among many other negative things is not what they want to see in you. They want to see someone who is not only not talking negatively in front of them because they know you, their leader, are not talking negatively or criticizing them in front of others. By curtailing your public criticism, you lead by example. Those that you are responsible for will see that you can lead, manage, and get the job done with as little negativity as possible.

While giving up criticism is going to be difficult there is no need to worry. If you are conscientiously working at it, the process will be somewhat smooth. This is not to say that this will be a bump free journey. It might actually be downright difficult at times.

The difficulty, I talk about, comes in escaping from or letting go those individuals that enable you or
bait you into that negative criticism. I know what you are thinking, “why do I have to let go of some people from my life?”

You have to if you want to succeed. Like alcoholics, heroin addicts, smokers or any one that has a difficult habit that they must break, distancing yourself from those individuals that somehow manage to pull you back into that negativity, is the first step to breaking that habit.

Unfortunately, some of those individuals might be family. While you love family members you are not bound by that love to like them and their behavior. Just know that because they are related to you that does not give them the right to bring you down or shove you back into bad habits.

Cutting back on Criticism is one thing but when others are doing it around you what do you do? Well, the first thing you do is to NOT start criticizing those that are criticizing. As I previously said start distancing yourself from other critics. What if the other people are those that follow you? Those that you are responsible for, Those you mentor, those that you lead?

First of all, when you are in the position of authority you can set the standard for the group, department, the entire organization. The criticism, the unwanted criticism stops now.

Of course, some of the people that this will apply to will think the change in employee policy is just a passing fad or temporary or does not apply to them. Reassure then it is not a passing fad, it does apply to everyone and most of all, this expectation is here to stay.

There has been one form of criticism that I have failed to mention, up to this point. Constructive Criticism.

There are two forms of constructive criticism; the kind that works and that kind that does not work but does cause damage. There is a fine line that divides both of them.

First time leaders and managers have the hardest time dealing with both. The thing is as a follower and subordinate it was easy. Life was easier back then. We could criticize all we wanted with little to no repercussions. Now we are the grownups. We are now the people that others look up to.

Thus, no more nonsense, no more speaking out loud before we have had a chance to process and carefully select our words. So be careful when it comes to criticism, give it when asked for, otherwise keep it to yourself. When you have to give it, please us tact, consideration, and honesty.

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Making Regret A Thing Of The Past


I want to take a moment to talk about something that I have been thinking about after I posted, on Facebook, the meme about forgetting to place a cake order and wrote on top “Next time, don’t get caught swimming in regret.”

the meme I posted on Facebook
the meme I posted on Facebook


Seems that regret, while a completely normal human function, is something that most people do not want to be called on or admit to anyone, let alone admit to themselves. That is all right.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have regrets. I am here to tell you that I am full of regrets.

I regret not spending more time with my family. I regret not being a better husband. I regret not being a better father. I regret not being a better friend. I regret not doing something about an injustice or two that I witnessed in my life. I regret not holding on just a little longer with a friend. I regret holding on too long with others. I regret not defending myself when I should have. I regret listening to the wrong people. I regret not listening to the right people.

See the list just goes on and on. Yet, there is a beauty to regret, yes, there is beauty in regret. In the past couple of years, I have grown, moved forward and freely admitted those public regrets, as well as my private regrets (to myself, of course). While most people announce their regrets while on their deathbed, when it is too late. I chose not to.

While we will never truly know the day and time of our expiration, I choose to do something about those regrets, right now instead of when it is too late.

Sure, some can do something about those regrets now but most people will wait until they can no longer do something and complete their time on earth full of regret and anger. Anger because they chose to waste their time holding grudges, internalizing their pain, lashing out at people, putting the wrong people or things above their family and true friends. They would rather spite loved ones because they think they can and are entitled to. They would rather belittle those that are not present because they believe it makes them look cool.

Yet, deep down they know they are hurting because of the regret. Regret based on knowing right from wrong yet choosing wrong because it is a quick fix, a temporary Band-Aid. Instead of working hard to make life better for themselves by fixing those regrets. Admitting regret can be a bitter pill to swallow.

At this point of my post, you are asking yourself, “Who does Dave think he is?”

Please ask that if you have not done so already. You are asking because now you are thinking about the regrets you have. You can choose to be offended. I know at least one individual will be offended. It might be someone whom I do not know or it can be someone that I have known for a very long time. Being offended is good, because sometimes those things that strike a nerve do so to get us thinking.

When we start thinking, we can start acting and when we start acting on our thoughts, we start getting results. Results that lead to minimizing regrets. Once our regrets are at a minimum we have grown as individuals.

Now to answer the question: “Who does Dave think he is?”
I am the person that regrets not writing this much sooner.

Thank you for your attention.