Starbucks founder Howard Schultz is surrounded by very smart assistants and executives, yet he religiously visits at least 25 stores a week. A second strategy is making end runs around your own hierarchy. As President of PepsiCo, Andy Pearson would visit an operation such as Frito-Lay, and after an obligatory nod to the CEO, he would head directly to the bullpen where the junior sub-brand managers lived. He'd pick one at random, sit down with her for an hour and discuss what was going on in her neck of the woods. Not only would he be judging Frito's bench strength, but also zeroing in on un-masticated data.
Tom Peters is still giving good examples of management by wandering around.