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Leaders Open Doors – What Opportunities Are You Creating?

Leaders Open DoorsI recently read “Leaders Open Doors” by Bill Treasurer.  Treasurer has done an outstanding job at describing the importance of creating opportunities for others as it relates to the role of a leader.

Among several significant points, Treasurer brings home the idea that to be an influential leader, we must influence the opportunities that others are provided.  When we use the resources that we have to create opportunities for others, “open doors” if you will, we are setting an example of what great leaders do.  They develop more leaders.

Simple in concept, but deep in execution, opening doors for ourselves, others and our organization result in growth and success.

Treasurer starts the book off with a brilliant example of the wisdom found in the words of a child.  He tells the story of his five year old son sharing his excitement of being the class leader that day.

Of course Dad wanted to know all about it “… what did you get to do as the class leader?” In the words that could only mean the world to a five year old, “I got to open doors for people!”  Treasurer sums up the backbone of the book by stating “In a matter of fifteen seconds, with seven simple words, Ian clarified what’s most important about leadership.”

The idea behind this book is brilliant.  We all know that most people, when asked, want more than just a paycheck from their job.  They want an opportunity.  Treasurer gives five basic elements behind the opportunities that workers are expecting:

  • growth and personal development
  • career fulfillment and enrichment
  • acquisition of new skills
  • financial gain and other rewards, and
  • greater access to leadership roles

My take on this is that leaders need to create an environment that is conducive to opportunity.  As he describes it … “Open-door leadership is about noticing, identifying, and creating opportunities for those being led.”

John Maxwell met with the government officials of Guatemala earlier this year and asked the President this question, “Will your people be better off after you leave office than they were when you took office?”  I would add that creating opportunities is not only open-door leadership, but transformational leadership as well.

If I had to choose one quote from this book to share it would be this.  Treasurer is making the point that opportunity should be the focus of leaders and that opportunity attracts and excites employees more than problems do.  He states, “Leaders would be better served to talk about what get’s them up in the morning instead of what keeps them up at night.”

That statement in itself is worth ten times the price of the book.  How often do we focus on the problems that keep us up at night?  I am not just talking about our professional lives, but our personal lives as well.  What if our focus was on the opportunities that are in front of us?

Far too many takeaways from this book to try and squeeze into a single post but I will share one more thought and leave the rest of the reading up to you.  Treasurer makes the point that people want to know that you care.  Are you telling those you lead that you care by the way you lead them?

Treasurer makes this comment, “You know that people aren’t just “resources”; they are the coach of the local soccer club, lay minister at the church, active alumna at the state college, recently widowed husband to a wife who died after a long battle with breast cancer, and father to three heart broken kids.”

So I leave you with this question today; “What is the value of providing an opportunity to someone that only you have the power to provide?”  Remember, someone may be asking themselves that question about you someday.

One final thought … Read this book!

To find out more on Bill Treasurer and Giant Leap Consulting click here

For more on “Leaders Open Doors” click here

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Barry Smith    5/29/13   photo courtesy of amazon.com   © Building What Matters 2013


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