Being a manager is difficult because it feels unnatural. Your job isn’t actually to get work done. You’re doing your job as a manager when what you’re doing doesn’t resemble work at all.
To Andy Grove, legendary CEO of Intel, a manager’s fundamental work of information gathering can be among the most unnatural and that awkwardness is a necessary part of being a leader. Information gathering is the bread and butter of a manager’s work, but doing it effectively can mean making yourself vulnerable to looking and feeling like you’re doing nothing.
Grove instructs managers that “[t]here is an especially efficient way to get information, much neglected by most managers” that is underutilized “because of the awkwardness that managers feel about [it].” That is, be out in the open in your company, doing nothing.