Some leaders end up going back and forth on systems or open door.
“Systems didn’t work last quarter,” they say, “let’s get rid of them.” So, they go back to an open-door policy by default, not realizing that’s what they’re doing. They may have the intention of setting up new systems, but they vastly underestimate how much time or effort this is going to take.
You can have it one way, but you can’t have it both.
You can’t take away systems and expect your team not to come knocking at your door requesting email bulletins, meeting times, deadlines and due dates, expense accounts, anything, and everything in between.
You may have a blanket answer for them – “just check our team Dropbox.” But in the absence of systems, your team will default to asking you for guidance. Self-serve is not an option.
In your mind, Dropbox may be the system, but you don’t have systems to manage the system, so it’s a moot point.
Don’t blame your team if they don’t make it to meetings, don’t know when something is supposed to be done by, or don’t have the links to the team Dropbox that was supposed to go out last week. You’ve adopted an open-door policy by letting go of systems. You are the system now.
You can choose systems, or you can choose open door. Both are valid. But where one is largely self-directed, the other will require your input at all hours, any hour of the day. Always know which you’re choosing.
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