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From behind a desk is no place to view the world

When did you last join the front line and work there for a few hours? The best leaders keep connected with their staff and market by going ‘back to the floor’ regularly. I recently came across this example from Richard Branson:

“I…insist that we continually ask our staff for any suggestions they might have, and I try my hand at their jobs. When I tried pushing a trolley down the aisle of a jumbo, I found I crashed into everyone. When I talked to the crew about this they suggested we introduce a more waitress-style service and keep the trolleys to a minimum. As it turned out, by getting rid of trolleys altogether in Upper Class, we were able to use up some of the aisle space to provide the longest and largest seats in the air.”

Richard Branson, frm his book Losing My Virginity, challenging the conventional wisdom that leaders operate from the centre and don’t get involved in detail out at the front line. Richard Branson will be sharing more of his leadership techniques live by satellite in his session at Leaders in London at the end of November.

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