Last week I was able to access some what I call “Big Time” leaders that influence me through their speaking and writing. I would have never thought I had a chance to connect with these leaders, but social media has made all things possible in regards to networking and relationships. At the same time technology has taken away the excuses for leaders to be inaccessible.
I wanted to share some of the characteristics I’ve observed that make up The Accessible Leader:
- The accessible leader acknowledges you: When a leader acknowledges someone or something a person says, does or contributes they are validated. Acknowledgement brings a sense of legitimacy to my personal work, efforts, and pursuits.
- The accessible leader takes time for you: When a leader takes time to respond, listen, or express gratitude people go from being a fans to a followers. Fans are with you as long as you are performing to their expectations. However, followers are invested because you made an investment of time that ultimately made a huge impact.
- The accessible leader uses technology to touch you: This is hard for some leaders to grasp, but its really powerful if you want to be personalize your influence. Accessible leaders understand that technology multiplies their touches. Saturday night I was able to reach out to a friend of mine who leads a church of almost 16,000 people. If anyone has the right to be inaccessible its him, but I found using Periscope for the first time. We had a couple exchanges and I had the joy of watching what he ordered through What-A-Burger drive thru. Life changing no, but his willingness to use a tool created access that allowed us to keep in touch.
- The accessible leader opens the door for you: Many years ago I worked for a boss that only worked behind a closed office door. Now I understand there are times when leaders must close their door to work on important things, but I remember there were times I would knock on the door, knowing my boss was in the office and my knock would go unanswered. I grew to hate that door. It intimidated me and shouted to me that I was not important enough. Accessible leaders invite you into their world by opening the door for you. I actually made this a practice of mine by having a personal open door policy when I was an executive pastor. A closed door intimidates people and open door invites people in your world.
- The accessible leader invites you to be a part: Accessible leaders realize they can’t get where they want to go by themselves. Therefore, they give you access to details and information that will be helpful to you helping them get where they want to go. When there is no access to there is no success in leadership.
There are no such thing as an ALL-ACCESS leader, but accessibility I believe should be high on the list when you are looking for a leader to follow. What qualities of an accessible leader can you add?