Ludicrous‌ ‌Leadership – Part 4 

Useful phrases for the leader who has long ago been rendered obsolete, but hasn’t realized it yet…

– By Nigel Girling

What they say….

“My door is always open”

This is a favourite of managers who want to look supportive, helpful and ready to roll-up their sleeves and muck in. Come in and talk to me, I’m always here to help you. I’m just a regular person – always willing to drop whatever I’m doing to talk to you and try to help. We have an open and supportive culture here. Didn’t you see the posters? We’ve even got beanbags and a funky social space where all our people can get together…

What they really mean…

I’m not going to help you or even speak to you very often, but now if you get stuck it’s your fault because I told you my door was open. Even though it usually wasn’t.

Have you ever noticed how this is only ever said by someone whose door is very rarely open? Even if by some miracle they’re not in a meeting (what the hell do they have to talk about so often and for so long?!) then the look you’ll get or the muted sigh as they are forced to stop what they’re doing should be enough to send you scampering back to your pigpen or workstation. My door is always open is a secret code. Like, ‘just shout if you need any help’ or ‘I’ll drop by later and see how you’re getting on’, it is just a way of saying ‘you’re on your own now, so you’d better start swimming, that water’s pretty deep’.

Written by Nigel Girling, Senior Consultant, Inspirational Development Group

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Please note, the views expressed by the original article author are theirs alone and do not necessarily represent those of Washingtondowling Associates Ltd or The SHE Show and therefore we take no responsibility for the content or accuracy of this post.