Leaders Open Doors

July 25th, 2013 | Leadership

Guest Post by Bill Treasurer

Leadership is the most over-analyzed, thoroughly dissected, and utterly confused topic in business. After 20 years as a practitioner of leadership development, it took my five-year old son to simplify it for me.

One sunny afternoon Ian, my son ran upstairs and exclaimed:

“Guess what, Daddy? I got to be the Class Leader today!”

“Really? Class leader? That’s a big deal, little buddy. What did you get to do as the class leader?”

Ian’s next seven words would simplify twenty years of research and alter my understanding of  leadership forever.

“I got to open doors for people!”

Ian’s answer was simple, funny, and in its own way, profound. Leadership, at its core, is about opening doors for those you lead. It’s about identifying, creating, and assigning opportunities that help people and organizations grow and develop. It’s about moving people out of their comfort zone so they continue to strive toward a higher standard of performance.

Think about the leaders who you admire most. Pick people you’ve actually worked with versus someone on the world stage. What doors did they open for you? Did they assign you to a challenging “step up” opportunity that caused you to refine your skills? Did they let you lead a project that helped you discover new strengths? Did they provide you with an opportunity to close a blind spot by giving you candid and courageous feedback?

Here are two great questions worth thinking about:

  1. What opportunity doors have been opened up for you along the way?
  2. What opportunity doors might you be able to open for others?

Remember, effective leadership is all about creating opportunities for others!
Bill Treasurer is the author of Leaders Open Doors, which focuses on the responsibility that leaders have for creating opportunities that cause people to grow. The book is carrying out its own message: 100% of the royalties are being donated to programs that support children with special needs. Learn more at Leaders Open Doors.

Bill is also the author of Courage Goes to Work, an international bestselling book that introduces the concept of courage-building. He is also the author of Courageous Leadership: A Program for Using Courage to Transform the Workplace, an off-the-shelf training toolkit that organizations use to build workplace courage. Bill has led courage-building workshops for, among others, NASA, Accenture, CNN, PNC Bank, SPANX, Hugo Boss, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Contact Bill at btreasurer@giantleapconsulting.com, or on Twitter at @btreasurer (#leadsimple).

Question from Bob:  Who has opened doors for you?

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One thought on “Leaders Open Doors

  1. I agree 100% – great post. the best leaders I have followed have sought to push others forward rather than assert their own interests. This includes my Army Drill Sergeant!

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