I tend to be a very “open door policy” type of person. But, there are times when I just need to dig into something and need the time, and the focus, to work through an idea (or series of ideas) without any interruption.
I’m always torn when I do this. I believe in people being able to come in with questions, ideas, and concerns, at any point, but I also recognize that the more distractions we have, the more focus we can lose. Usually this is good. A key part of leading and learning is shifting focus away from oneself. But, when it comes time to handle our own great work, sometimes we need to shut the door and get to work.
One rule I do keep for myself when I shut the door? Do whatever needs to be done as quickly as possible. I never like to keep my door closed for long, as I want to make sure that in as many cases as possible, I am truly approachable.
The benefit of focus is that we can keep our eyes on the prize. The benefit of welcoming any and all thinking at any time is we can keep our eyes on the prizes.
We need to be willing to alternate between the individual and the collective lenses if we are to truly see the full spectrum of learning and leading that we can be capable of!