My “closed door” 100% engagement policy

Firstly, I’m not into policies. Too many rules. Rules change.


However, as a leader and entrepreneur, you need to be very protective of your time and this is the only “rule” I request of my team.


It’s easy to be busy. It’s harder to achieve big things.


My whiteboard tells me that I need to be creating, leading, innovating, growing, learning and that I need to be laser-focused. If I’m not doing those things, I’m not having fun, nor am I being as productive as I should to myself and the business.


So, how do you manage your time?


Do you actually believe that an open door policy is the best approach?


How many times have you heard a manager say, or been sold a role where there is an “open door” policy? What does that actually mean to you?


If you were the head of a company, would you want every Tom, Dick and Harry walking in at any time to ask you about anything?


So let’s be honest. The “open door” policy is the worst thing a leader could do and, very politely, an absolute local of bullocks.


Let’s now look at the open plan environment. Some say that being in an open plan helps you oversee things and monitor what’s going on day to day. I guess that may be true for those control freaks that like to micro manage and gawk over people’s shoulders all the time. Successful and experienced staff don’t respond well to that environment.


Sure, I do think open plan offices can work and can be an efficient use of office space, particularly if a manager respects the space of others, provides autonomy, empowers their staff and manages their time well.


I, however, work on a performance-based model with typically more experienced staff, so ultimately it’s performance that counts; all, of course, while delivering a great experience to the client within an ethical framework. If someone underperforms, then it’s imperative to look at output and quality of work and find areas to improve, but I’m not interested in the detail of every activity that goes on day to day.


So what’s a “closed door policy”?


Firstly, I am protective of my time and I work extremely well undistracted while knowing I’m not going to be distracted. This way I can do more for my business and more for others with peace of mind. I’m sure many people can relate.


I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “I need to stay back late or get in early to get things done!” Well, now you don’t if you try my approach.


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