It’s a standard some women use to judge the success of a date: did he open doors?

I spoke to a friend recently as she recounted a first date. He was wonderful, she said. Did everything right: brought roses, opened doors. 

When a man opens doors on a date, we call it chivalrous, polite, or perhaps old-fashioned. We love it!

As leaders, we may get an idea that opening doors for others — creating opportunities for them — is similar: optional, recommended, nice.

But as leaders who open doors for others, we are not being chivalrous or kind, although some people might perceive our actions that way. Instead, we are doing what leaders are meant to do, what is required of us. We are engaging in the very behavior that defines us as leaders.

Leaders Open Doors.

We don’t open doors to be nice. We open doors of opportunities to deserving people in the service of a bigger goal— the mission of the company, the well being and growth of the people who work with us, the support the clients we serve.

Leaders open doors for the mission of the company. There is work to be done, so we do it. And it is our privilege to invite others to join the work. I am doing this as my company grows. The natural result of seeing work load grow is that in order to do the work, we need people. As we need people, we can open doors for them.

Leaders open doors for the sake of others, doors for their growth, development, and success.

Leaders open doors in service clientsIn order to serve clients, we must entrust people with ever increasing responsibility and ownership of the work. When we open doors to people, we can fully engage them in creatively contributing to make a bigger difference for our clients.

Opening doors for others is a critical task, one that needs to be repeated daily.

Let this be the new measure we use to evaluate our leadership effectiveness. How many doors did we open? To whom? For what purpose?

For more inspiration related to leadership and open doors, check out Bill Treasurer’s new book, Leaders Open Doors, now available on Amazon (buy now!). Learn more at or follow Bill on Twitter, @btreasurer or connect on Facebook