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I have a few ENEMIES in education.

One being OPEN DOOR POLICIES.

They’re a terrible policy to have.

Here’s why …

Open door policies make leaders LESS effective.

Open door policies invite distraction.

They force leaders to multitask

(which is terrible for relationships and trust … have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone typing away on their keyboard???)

Or they force leaders to STOP the important thing that they are working on.

Either way, you are interrupted and it takes time to get back to where you left off.

Which means you are less effective.

Now, I get the heart behind open door policies.

Most leaders with an open door policy say something to the effect of:

“People over paperwork.”

But what they really mean is …

“I prioritize people over paperwork while at school. It has a very real cost because by doing so, I prioritize my work over time for myself and time for my family because I believe work is more important.”

Ouch.

I know.

You cannot create great results if you are constantly distracted because of an open door policy.

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson said …

“If you are constantly staying late and working weekends, it’s not because there’s too much work to be done. It’s because you’re not getting enough done at work. And the reason is interruptions.”

Open door policies = more interruptions

More interruptions = less than optimal results

I LOVE school leaders and for as many days as I still have on this earth, I will be the guy reminding leaders that they matter …

Your needs matter.

You are worth it.

Boundaries are a good thing.

Saying NO so you can have time to yourself and for your family is a good thing.

And closing your door so you can focus on the most important work that only YOU can do is more than appropriate from time to time.

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