The Listen And Learn Tour


(By Buzz Knight) When someone starts in a position of leadership we expect to hear them say “I’m going to spend the first 30 to 60 days just listening and learning before I take any significant action”

Their intent is to not give off the impression that they are just coming into the situation with guns blazing to make changes and put their imprint on the organization. The statement is intentionally made to put up guard-rails so no rash decisions are made without having all of the facts

This is a responsible statement and it is meant to set up the future culture as being one of strong feedback backbone. Listening and learning while asking questions defines how the next 30 to 60 days should be acted upon and with what priorities in mind.

Today we are in the short attention society as everyone is running and gunning to kept up with the pace of change.

I think it is worth considering that the “Listen and Learn Tour” becomes the regular fabric of every organization

Feedback loops should be a constant not just part of an opening act for leadership

Appreciation is an important gift for leaders to give to their organization.

Part of understanding what to appreciate from a leaders perspective helps gain insights to what employees are thinking but it requires listening and learning.

Everyone wants to be heard and in today’s world a silent employee is one who isn’t sharing a grievance or a new idea that can shake up the status quo

Leaders need to find a way to keep their ear to the ground everyday so things don’t quickly get out of hand.

No one is suggesting you replicate the suggestion box scene in Ted Lasso where the coach got skewered with blunt suggestions from his team, but how will you know what the internal culture vibe is unless you ask outright.

The last few years have made it easy for employees to feel isolated at a moment’s notice.

You should regularly figure out ways to have scenarios where you update and share a state of the state with employees and use it as a way to get questions out in the open.

We all know the adage about people in the communications business not knowing how to communicate well.

By creating a regular feedback loop you can head things off at the pass before they become bigger issues.

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


  1. “We all know the adage about people in the communications business not knowing how to communicate well.”

    I think, Buzz, that that observation perfectly fits the commenter ‘Ted Lasso’. I hope ‘Ted’ doesn’t actually work in our industry. He sounds toxic…exactly what we don’t need.

    Keep up the important work, Buzz. Some, like ‘Ted’, just don’t get it…but many of us do.

  2. So, “Communication is key”…. that’s pretty much the article. Good lord, another pep talk for an industry that’s on life support.


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