Open Door Leadership ACTION Tips from Bill Treasurer

By Tiffany Chepul

dateWed, Oct 22, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

At the Fortune Leadership Summit last May, Bill Treasurer shared thoughts on his book Leaders Open LeadershipDoors. Bill had great stories.  He is the former head of the US High Diving team with a fear of heights.  He has a daughter with disabilities who learned to walk on a trampoline.  Speakers with great stories are the best.  They hold our attention and they stick with us. 

He opened with the story of his son who came home from school and said, "I got to be leader at school today!"  When he asked his son what he got to do as leader, his son simply said, "I got to open doors for people!" 

This simple story is the foundation of Bill's work on Open-door Leadership. 

His Open-door Leader ACTION Tips are below:

1. Answer the Holy Question: Before setting out on a journey to be a better leader, figure out your destination. Leadership works best when it is put in the service of a worthwhile purpose

2. Identify Leaders Who Opened Doors for You: Great leaders are products of great leaders. Think about how others opened doors for you. How can you do the same? 

3. Give People Something to Prove: The best way to tap into a person’s courage and passion is to give them something to prove. The best challenges are those that help a person surface and strengthen latent skills and abilities. 

4. STOP Stoking Fears: Fear may motivate people in the short run but over the long haul it is very damaging. Stop focusing on all the risks and start focusing on benefits. Don’t talk about what keeps you awake at night, but what gets you up in the morning. 

5. Shift People’s Heads:  Keep people from thinking in habitual or restrictive ways. Instead of having meetings in the same conference room at 2pm, move to a museum or park in the morning. Change of venue often promotes fresh thinking. 

6. Give People Permission to Disagree: Make it clear that you do not want to be surrounded by Yes-people. Tell them you need perspectives that run counter to your own. When people respectfully disagree with you, avoid the temptation to punish or pull rank. 

7. Get Real: People want to know that no matter how much success you have, you still know your “roots.” Remain an accessible person of goodwill. 

Here are a few ways that our Rhythm methodology and tools "bridge" to Bill's 7 Tips and can help you to implement them.

To dig deeper on Bill's methodology, visit his website:

Executive Summary from Patrick Thean's book Rhythm

Tiffany Chepul


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images