Number 7 of ten maxims I’ve cultivated and use regularly to enhance business.
Good things can arise – and come back around – if you just Leave the Door Open…
…mentally and emotionally, to possibilities
…so other options and opportunities can see the light of day.
You might think of Leave the Door Open as the more positive version of “don’t burn your bridges.” My use of Leave the Door Open goes much deeper than just not burning bridges.
Example 1: When you get what seems like bad news (someone else got the contract, was hired, won the popularity vote, was picked first, etc.), make your response one that is memorable for its Open Door. For instance, I’ve often said: “If your [the other party’s] needs or circumstances change or new opportunities arise in the months or years ahead, feel free to be back in touch.”
I’ve had more than one client engagement or partner agreement materialize because their initial choice/attempt with someone else didn’t work out, or a new opportunity came up and we were at the top of their minds – because we Left the Door Open.
Example 2: When you’ve met someone who impressed you, whether or not you have an immediate business opportunity together, it’s smart to Leave the Door Open. For instance, a speaker I recently exchanged business cards with included these words in her follow-up note to me: “Please let me know if there is something that I can do for you at any time.”
Just that simple line – a step beyond the exchange of business cards or a LinkedIn invite – lets me know that the Door is Open. I’m more likely to re-connect with her because of it.
Example 3: In the office, as a leader or manager. Literally, Leave the Door Open (or at least figuratively, if you don’t have a real door!). You can learn so much.
There are plenty of times when I need to close my office door. But by intentionally Leaving the Door Open at other times, TPG team members know I’m available to them, that I’m in this together with them, that I’m swimming in the same ocean they are. Plus, I get a daily sense of the pulse, the pace, the energy, the atmosphere – which helps me be more effective when I’m choosing how/what/when I communicate and interact with the team members.
With off-site team members, Leaving the Door Open happens in other ways: a brief check-in call, a text or email saying thanks for work well done, an inquiry about their life beyond TPG Companies. All of it serves to build trust and unity, and pays dividends in team effectiveness and spirit.
TPG team members like to say, “Everything Begins with Hello.” That’s true, but what happens after Hello is key as well. I’ve built better relationships and greater success when I let the other party know I’m Leaving the Door Open for future possibilities together.
Leaving the Door Open doesn’t mean we’ll be waiting by the phone – it shows respect for the people and the relationship and points toward a future that evolves and creates diverse possibilities. Really, it’s a way of using a Principled Approach, with a VUCA Prime Mindset.
Check out our previously-posted Maxims to Boost Business Impact and Effectiveness, all of which I find myself repeating often. I hope they resonate with you as they do with scores of business owners and leaders we have coached, advised, or otherwise helped. Watch this space for numbers 8-10 – coming soon!
Want to see more of what we think and talk about at TPG Companies?
Click “Follow” to receive new posts as soon as they’re published.