“That was when we decided to move to the Hill Country—to a house west of Austin-and, as I’ve said, as soon as we moved out there everything changed. People started to talk to you in a very different way, and I started to get a whole different understanding of what life had been like there when Lyndon Johnson was young, and what the young Lyndon Johnson was like.”

Robert Caro, in his new book Working, described how he was able to get the close-knit residents of the Hill Country west of Austin to open up about Lyndon Johnson. When he was just a reporter from New York coming in for the day, the residents were closed-liped and not particularly friendly. When he decided to actually move there, and spend time around the people, suddenly, the floodgates opened.

The same can be said of management. If a manager spends most days in the company of other managers, rarely (if ever) venturing to the point of work, he will never gain trust and understanding and, therefore will always be an outsider. To truly understand how an organization operates requires management to exist at the point of work. To become a part of the team, a normal fixture, so that those who do the work of the organization can learn to trust and ultimately open up about issues in the organization.

Only when you move in will you really understand what’s going on.