How Visible Should A Startup CEO Be To The Team?

brett fox
3 min readMay 3, 2023

One of the smartest things I ever did as CEO was practice, “Management by walking around.” The idea is really simple. You, the CEO, walk around your office, facility, or manufacturing site and talk to anyone you come in contact with.

Picture: Depositphotos

I didn’t invent Management by walking around. Far from it. The technique was popularized by Hewlett Packard in the 1970s. Toyota had a version of it they called the “Gemba Walk.” And, I’m certain that other executive teams walked the plant well before the 1970s.

I loved the random walks I did around our facility. The walks gave me a chance to connect with team members I normally wouldn’t connect with.

I learned about all sorts of things that I never would have if I didn’t walk around the building. I’ll get back to this later. Instead, let’s look at what happens if you’re out of sight to your team.

When you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind.

“I need to get back to Australia to visit my team,” “Greg” said to me. “I’ve been working in Paris since the pandemic began and I haven’t visited the team. They (the team) seem out of sorts.”

“I agree,” I said. “When do you think you’ll be able to go back (to Australia)?”



brett fox

I work with startup CEOs to help them grow their businesses . I built several businesses from $0 to >$100M. Learn more at