I am not the smartest guy in the room, I am just the leader. – Andy Stanley
In response to a question from Grace M., “Ron, how do I stay connected with my team and not micromanage from the c-suite?” First, it is mission critical for a great team to have an open door policy.
At Southwest Michigan First, like many organizations, we have team members who are absolutely brilliant at their jobs. We have team members who have important things to share. We have team members who have innovative ideas. It is my job, as the leader, to make sure there is a conduit for them to share and succeed in these moments.
I have to enable team members to bring their expertise and voice to the table. The day that I decide to segregate myself from the team simply because I am the leader is the day I put the organization in a position to fail; closed-door leadership is a leading indicator for organizational failure.Closed-door leadership is a leading indicator for organizational failure. Click To Tweet
For me it means blocking out time on my calendar each week for the team, that time is only for them, no one can book over that. Simply stated, great leaders are available and open to communicate with their team. It could be a family update, a new goal or a delicious recipe – things big and small are welcome in my office and that creates an element of trust when the hard conversations have to come. I never mind getting asked the tough questions and having tough conversations with this group of amazing people I value. I know that the conversations will be had whether I am a part of them or not, I just feel honored when I am the person they come to. As leaders, we have a privilege and great responsibility to guide our team and that begins with open communication.
Having an open door is good for me as the leader, for the team and for the organization; it keeps us grounded and engaged. I can never be too far from the frontlines when I have an open door. Of course, as organizations grow it may be necessary to implement divisions or a practical reporting structure, but the longer leaders can interact with team members on an individual, personal level, the stronger and more vibrant the organization will be.
Question: What are you doing to create open communications with your team?