Don’t Be The Captain On The Titanic; Value Walkabouts




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Disconnected leaders are captains on the Titanic. Comfortable disconnection in the present signals failure in the futu

Begin with unfocused walkabouts. Just wander around. Wandering around is more important as responsibilities expand.

The further you are from the front-line, the more you need to walkabout.

Tip: Connect with the front-line, not just other leaders.

Focused walkabouts engage people and expand organisations. If you’re already wandering around, try focused walkabouts.

I encourage leaders to connect by taking 15 minutes a day to walkabout with a specific intention. If once a day is too much, try twice a week.

Seven focused walkabouts you can try when engaging your employees:

Walkabout asking questions, not giving direction.

  • Empowering walkabouts. “If you were the boss, what would you do (name a situation)?”
  • Affirmation walkabouts. “You’re really great at XYZ. Keep it up!”
  • Accountability walkabouts. “What’s happening with (name a project)?”
  • Giving feedback walkabouts. “I notice… The impact of this is…”
  • Effectiveness walkabouts. “What might we stop doing?”
  • Challenge walkabouts. “I’m counting on you to…”
  • Values walkabouts. Choose an organisational value and ask about it.

“How are we recognising this initiative?”

Two new walkabouts:

1. Learning from failure walkabout. “What are we/you learning from failure?”; “Where did we/you fall short last week? What did we/you learn?”; “What are you learning about yourself? Your team?”; “What are you learning about (insert topic)?”

2. Innovation walkabout. “What would you like to try that we aren’t already doing?”

The ship could be sinking – but you wouldn’t know unless you walkabout. What walkabouts seem most relevant to you?LDR-PDF-download-110x110

Dan Rockwell is a coach, speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is the author of a world-renowned, socially shared leadership blog, Leadership Freak. To engage with him, email

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