I think what we have is a problem of the old rules for success not catching up with the new realities. Case in point is Joshua Steimle’s artcle in Forbes. In it he says that the best advice he got was that accessibility is important if you want to be a good leader.
The problem is that the person who gave him that advice stopped working in the 1990s and never had to use email, voice mail or any of the other mails that make you hyper accessible. He never had to get bogged down by the immaterial and unimportant because this old thing called middle management filtered everything.
We have to start to learn new leadership skills for the new economy. So, new rules for a new world. Stop being accessible.
- Make your employees deal with the immaterial things themselves.
- Turn off email at night, on weekends, and on holidays.
- Train employees not to copy you on things.
- Train them not to ask for your advice unless the issue is material.
- Allow them one update email a week.
- Meet with them once a week to hash out issues.
Unless you work in a hospital, no one will die from this lack of accessibility. You’ll force employees to become more self-sufficient, you’ll do a better job of delegating and lo and behold, you’ll probably be less stressed.
I started the week thinking maybe Larry and Sergey were bad leaders for being inaccessible and now maybe I think that it’s genius. I think I’ll do a bit more of this questioning stuff. Next up, listening. Maybe as a leader it’s just better not to listen to people.
Charles – have watched this topic unfold and now feel ready to wade in…this latest blog is “bang-on” and having had as many as 28 direct reports in a past life, I can say that being too accessible is a “no win”…..well done with this post!
Thanks. As with many of these subjects, having to write about it clarifies my thinking. In this case it even changed my thinking somewhat.