Popular culture loves the idea of powerful people being humbled by experiences others face every day.
Television programs like Undercover Boss amuse us with senior executives struggling to do entry level jobs. But while this is entertaining, why is it viewed as something special or unexpected when senior leaders engage with frontlines in some organizations?
Agile and Lean thinking recognize that frontline employees are key to customer experience because they are in the best position to understand customer-facing problems. Leadership engagement with frontlines helps inform strategic decisions that ultimately impact customers. Current thinking around leadership effectiveness often stresses the importance of a learner mindset but it’s important to understand that learning can focus in all directions – learn from your superiors, learn from your peers, and learn from frontline employees and their customers.
Are you a learner? Are you learning from everyone in your organization?