“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.”

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” — John  le Carre

I heard the above quote for the first time during a presentation by Joan Frye Williams about middle managers at the Minnesota Library Association 2012 annual conference last week.

Williams said managers should spend at least one fifth of his time being out there with the employees and customers, go to where the work is, where the real issues and problems are, instead of managing from behind the desk, expecting to know his employees and understand their concerns/problems from behind the desk.

If you are a middle manager – department head, branch manager, project coordinator, team leader, or committee chair – think about how much time you spend at your desk and how much time you spend with your employees and where the work is.

Adjusting your time, perspective and management style might make you a better and more effective manager.

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