I was recently reading a book by Matthew Kelly that started with a story about a gentleman sitting in his home office busily preparing a big speech he was delivering later that evening.

His wife knocked on the door, asking him to watch their son for a bit while she ran errands.

He wanted that alone time to finish his speech, but his son was usually pretty self-sufficient, so he wasn’t too worried. His wife was gone not 15 minutes before their son knocked and said, “Dad, can we do something?”

The man said, “Son, how about you work on a puzzle while I finish up my work, and then we can have the rest of the day together.”

The son liked that idea, and rather than get a puzzle the son had done before, the dad opened a magazine to a page with a picture of the world on it. He tore up the page, scattered the torn pieces, and told his son to put the world back together. He figured he had bought himself a good hour — an eight-year-old kid doesn’t know what the world looks like!

He found himself amazed 15 minutes later when his son finished the puzzle. He asked how he finished so quickly.

“Dad, I don’t know what the world looks like, so I turned all those pieces over and on the back was the face of a man. I know what that looks like, so I put the face of the man together, and knew when I flipped it over that the world would be together, too.”

The bigger picture in my mind is that when we try to fix things as leaders, sometimes we get caught up in the idea that we have to be strategic visionaries, always thinking big and considering the implications for the whole organization.

That’s true of a leader, but at the same time, we have to be concerned with the individual. You can’t fix the world without fixing the individual. So, if you have people issues and discontent in your organization, you can’t possibly fix the health of the organization if you don’t fix the people who make up the organization.

When I think about leaders who are able to effectively do that, they’re folks who are able to connect with their people on a one-on-one basis. They’re the folks who walk down the hallway and say hello to everyone lower than them on the totem pole and know them by name. The proverbial open door is there to come talk to them and express concerns.

Of course, I recognize that the larger the organization, the tougher it is for one leader to know every single person. However, the point is that folks need to see you not as sitting in some ivory tower but as someone who cares deeply about the humans who make up the organization.

Many years ago, I interviewed for a position with a local professional services firm. I had a friend who worked for the firm, and like many firms, your status there was determined by whether or not you had an office, what floor the office was on and where the office was on the floor.

I went in to talk with the president of the company, and we had a wonderful conversation. When I told my friend about it, he said, “You were on the third floor?”

That saddened me because he thought the third floor was a throne room — a place you didn’t go unless you were the chosen one. That told me something important about the culture of the organization and that maybe those third-floor people didn’t often come off their floor to talk to everyone else.

Ultimately, though we had great discussions, it wasn’t an employment match for me.

Another relevant example is when I had an initial meeting with a prospective client to talk about challenges his organization was having. I asked the owner how often he got out on the floor, and he told me that he was out there all the time talking with people.

I said, “OK, let’s go down and see what’s going on.”

I could tell after five minutes that he wasn’t being truthful. His people looked scared as he was walking around. I literally saw heads go down as we walked by to avoid eye contact with him.

I chose not to work with that firm for obvious reasons. It comes back to the idea that if we’re going to be leaders of organizations, we have to also be leaders of people. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. If we can’t lead people, we can’t lead the organization.

In order to lead people, we have to be able to connect with them. Even in a larger organization where you can’t meet and greet every single person every day, there are other ways to lead people. Having town hall, all-hands meetings is a great way to share your passion with your people in larger organizations.

Steve Jobs was a great example of this. He was a great communicator, and he would bring Apple together to talk about his vision for where they were going. I’m sure he didn’t know the names of everyone in the organization, but with the way he interacted on stage, people felt connected, empowered, and impassioned to work on the things he wanted to work on in order to forward Apple’s progress.

We could look at various leaders who have done that in many realms, from business to religion to politics, but the one common theme is that they were able to connect with people.

When I think about what it takes to be a good leader, it starts with the simple idea of getting individuals empowered and impassioned around your vision in order to help people and help your organization. After all, to fix the world, you have to fix the individual.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.