If you’re a senior executive, there’s a good chance you’re out of touch. Having a layer of handlers who decide what you should or shouldn’t see may save you time, but it also keeps you isolated and disconnected. This is a serious problem. If you don’t have firsthand information about your employees and customers, you’re unlikely to make the best decisions. So get out of your bubble. Do a stint on the front line — answering customer service calls or handling a key client — so you get direct exposure to lower-level employees and the people who buy your products. Consider instituting skip-level meetings, where you can talk with lower-level teams (without their bosses present) about business conditions, customer reactions, and how to implement strategies. In all settings, encourage people to challenge your thinking instead of just saying what you want to hear.

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