Back a few years ago my wife asks my son, who happens to be engrossed on Facebook, to go get the phone book.
As I’m sure ONLY happens at my house…
He really doesn’t want to leave Facebook to go find the phone book (which hasn’t been used in who knows how long). My son pulls up Google and responds to his mom “who’s number do you want?”
But my wife is trying to convince him the phone book is the only way to find the number and wants him to get up, find it and bring it to her. In the meantime…
I’m enjoying the exchange, knowing my son will find it in seconds if his mother will simply just give him the name, but she’s convinced he needs to get her the phone book.
And he has absolutely no desire to go on an archaeological expedition to find it.
Needless to say…
The pleasure I’m getting from the discussion grinds to a halt when my wife wants me to MAKE him go find the phone book. So, thinking I’m being a wise husband and father, I ask my wife who she wants to call, then tell my son to Google it and in less than 60 seconds my wife has the number.
Want to know the best part?
I now ask my son, “Do you know what ‘let your fingers do the walking’ means?” He had no clue what the phrase meant and the only thing that came to his mind was “fingers” and “walking,” to which he gets this really guilty look on his face…
and he wasn’t thinking yellow pages!
He had never seen a yellow pages commercial, and the only time he’s used a phone book was to sit on, so he could be high enough at the dinner table.
In the early 1960’s they came out with the cool logo and several decade’s worth of commercials, now it’s dead and we have at least two maybe three generations that don’t even know what it means.
So here’s the deal:
“My door is always open” was a good leadership idea, founded in principle, very well meaning and served as a faithful, acceptable leadership tool for decades. It was good in its day, but like the yellow pages, that day has come and gone.
Where you work, how often does Sr Management walk in your office, and do they take the time to sit down and interact with you?
Yet I’m sure they are well meaning and have probably shared countless times they have an open door policy.
What’s the bottom line?
Today’s workforce expects more interaction with those in leadership, our organizations are more mobile and distributed.
But more importantly… the quality of information, depth of interaction and level of trust is so much greater, when we’re taking time, out of our office, going thru the organization and walking thru the doors of our staff. If we are going to be great leaders, we need to let our feet do the talking.
So the next time you almost catch yourself saying “my office door is…” DON’T SAY IT!!