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What you can learn from ‘Undercover Boss’

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Perhaps you’ve seen the show Undercover Boss, in which an executive of a large corporation goes undercover and tags along with an employee during his or her daily tasks, doing everything from collecting trash to emptying portable toilets. The executive has a life-changing experience and for the first time realizes the challenges employees face every day on the job as well as their personal issues at home.

You do not have to go to this extreme to find out what is going on in your department. But ask yourself when the last time was that you left your desk to walk through the cubicles or manufacturing floor or visit a customer or a client.

“Managing by wandering around” was a term made popular by In Search of Excellence authors Tom Peters and Robert Waterman Jr., and they first heard it from a CEO at Hewlett-Packard. It means staying in direct touch with the front-line people who are doing the work. As the famous post-World War...(register to read more)

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