Effective leaders do not keep their distance from the people they are meant to lead. Making connections with people is the most crucial aspect of leadership. The greatest leaders in the world have gone out of the way to make regular, meaningful connections with their people. However, most managers do not go to this extent. Instead, many make cursory attempts at connection once in a while. Instead of making connections, the would-be managers only highlight how often they are not present. This is not real leadership. Leadership involves taking time to observe employees on the job and gaining some perspective about them and the company as a whole. It takes a special effort to develop these relationships with the front line, but they are valuable and fulfilling.
Spending time with employees is a necessary component of leadership and has a real impact on the performance of a business and its culture. Sharing information with employees inspires loyalty, which in turn leads to less turnaround. Similarly, it is important to be open and accessible to employees at every level of an organization. Employees should take the opportunity to get to know their leaders, just as leaders should make the effort to know more about employees. It can be a lot of work making meaningful connections with the front line, especially in large organizations, but the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices.