Hands-on leadership often is misconstrued to mean micromanagement. This generalization reduces the presence and participation of leaders to a nuisance and obstacle to productivity--something best to be avoided. True hands-on leadership, however, does not mean being bossy. It means fully assuming a leadership role, steering from the front, and working side-by-side with employees to achieve the goals of the company.

Ensuring Quality

One of the most obvious benefits of a hands-on leadership style is that it allows you to make sure that everything is done correctly. This does not mean that you should agonize over the details if your employees are getting good results. What it does mean is that you are familiar with the bigger picture of your company's daily workings. By occasionally showing up on the front lines, you have the opportunity to lead by example. It's one thing to announce to your employees that they need to meet a goal. It is far more effective to show them how the work is to be done by doing it beside them. Leading by example is one of the ways to apply a hands-on approach to leadership.


It’s a paradox that a successful company won't stay successful for long if it sticks to what works and remains stagnant in an evolving world. Business leaders often make the mistake of thinking that change and evolution comes in the form of orders from the boardroom and is magically implemented by the rest of the company. Change must happen at every level simultaneously for a smooth transition to occur. Hands-on leadership means working on developing new plans and approaches at the top and then spending time on daily implementation throughout the company, inviting employee participation and initiative to get results in the field.

Building Trust and Enthusiasm

The perception that employees are working to make money for someone who is not even present is a serious demotivating factor. Employees are not going to automatically trust and like you simply because you are in charge. You often gain trust and admiration simply by being present on the job site, making yourself available for questions and feedback and engaging in work with your employees. The most respected boss is one who knows how to do the job and who rose through the ranks through hard work. There is no substitute for the type of motivation that this provides, as you end up being a living, present example of success through hard work and application.


The presence of a leader among employees is a good sign that the leadership is engaged and concerned with the final product or service. This distinguishes a business from your competitors who have no mechanism for feedback from customers, especially from the leadership. This type of dedication and willingness to work and correct errors in the field shows clients that they are going to get the best service available because that's just the type of company you run and because you are there to personally ensure it. Hands-on leadership also shows prospective customers and investors that the company works as a team, that there is engagement between all levels of the company and that it functions as a coherent whole.