Great Leaders Have No Rules

I’ve been reading a book called Great Leaders Have No Rules by Kevin Kruse (2019).

Kruse writes about ten ways leaders should break the unwritten rules. Here are three examples:

Close your open door policy.

Shut off your smartphone.

Crowd your calendar.

Focusing on the important things seems to be a theme in a few books I’ve read lately. These three rules reinforce that.

Closing the open door policy is about focus. A leader doesn’t want to seem aloof, but it’s better to talk with your team when you’re fully engaged instead of trying to halfheartedly talk when you’re distracted. If you’re busy and deep in work, close the door. At the same time, create systems that allow your team to converse with you on a regular basis – one on ones, standing meetings, etc.

Shutting down the smartphone is another invitation to truly getting valuable work done. We think we need to be on every moment, but most often, a smartphone is a distraction that doesn’t add value. To be sure, it can add value, but only when we are in control of it and not visa versa.

Crowding your calendar seems counter-intuitive. But instead of having lots of white space on your calendar and a rolling to-do list that never seems to get traction, leaders should crowd their calendar with every little thing they plan to accomplish that day, week or month. It takes a bit of effort to create a bunch of items in 10 to 50 minute increments, but it does two things: (1) helps us to think practically about how much can be accomplished in a day and (2) helps motivate us to finish tasks in the time allotted.

This is an awesome book and a quick read. You can get a copy here.

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