Most organizations have a formal open door policy. Many leaders regularly emphasize that their door is always open. The danger is when leaders rely too heavily on the open door policy.
The open door policy puts the onus on the employee to initiate communication. It says I'm here if you need me, but you must come to me. If you have a problem or need assistance come in and let me know.
Unfortunately, employees are too often reluctant to go through those open doors. They may feel asking for help makes them look weak or incompetent. They may be intimidated by the leader. They may not be able to take time away from their work.
Leaders need to remember the open doorways leads both in and out. Effective leaders don't wait for employees to come to them. They regularly get out of their offices to interact with their staff. They make a point of checking in. They practice what management guru Tom Peters calls management by wandering around.
Don't ditch your open door policy but don't rely on it to stay in touch with your staff and what's happening in your organization. Go out the door and stay in touch.
Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.