The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Enjoy and share the Wooden's Wisdom 12-Part Program for Success

Issue 508 - Is Your Open Door Really Open? (Tony Dungy Part Seven)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 508
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Tony Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. Coach Dungy became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007. Dungy also set a new NFL record for consecutive playoff appearances by a head coach in 2008 after securing his tenth straight playoff appearance.
Coach Dungy believes that a leader should be proactive in really getting to know the people he/she works with on a personal level. In his book, The Leader Mentor, he explained it this way:
"Teamwork doesn’t tolerate the inconvenience of distance." - Author Unknown
"Without engagement, you cannot lead effectively. You cannot mentor with empathy. You cannot inspire people to new heights and lift them to a better place in their lives. If you do not engage with those you serve, you will never understand them or know enough about them to be able to have a positive effect in their lives.
One of the other ways I tried to build communication and foster engagement—and I encouraged my coaches to do this as well—was to keep an open-door policy. I rarely closed the door to my office unless I was in a private meeting. I wanted everyone in the organization to know that they could come see me whenever they wanted.
A true open-door policy is a matter of attitude and approachability, not just whether the office door is propped open. I played for a few coaches whose offices I was scared to death to enter, even when the door was standing open. I was never comfortable asking them anything or communicating beyond a surface level. On the other hand, the coaches who had the greatest positive impact on me were ones whose doors I wasn’t afraid to knock on, even if they were closed. As a leader, what kind of atmosphere have you created? Do you have an open-door policy, but no one ever comes to your office? Whether intentionally or unintentionally, have you created an aura of detachment?"
Is Your Open Door Really Open?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



The Plugger

He isn't very brilliant and his pace is often slow,
There's nothing very flashy in his style;
He has to dig and labor for the things he wants to know,
And lie's busy learning something all the while.
The clever men go by him in a hurry day by day,
And the stars get all the mention and the fame,
But the patient, steady plugger in a thorough sort of way
Keeps on going and he gets there just the same.

He's a quiet sort of fellow and tie's backward in his speech,
You'd never find him clamoring for applause;
He will listen to another who has anything to teach,
And he never worries working for a cause.
He may take a little longer with the task he has to do,
Than to genius whose talents seem to run;
But you'll find the patient plugger at the finish coming through,
And there's merit in his labor when it's done.

He is slow in getting started, he must know the reason why
Certain things occur within a certain way;
There is nothing in his method to attract the passer by,
And at times you'd think he's wasted many a day,
But when brilliant men have faded and the stars have lost their light,
When the clever men have stumbled in despair,
When the great have come to failure with the goal they sought in sight,
You'll find the patient plugger getting there.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






For more information visit

Enter a list of email addresses, separated by spaces, to send this issue to.

Email a Friend

Return to Issue List

Our Services
Why Wooden's Wisdom
Presentation Team
Wooden's Wisdom Leaders
Leadership Resource Center
Member Login

© Copyright 2024 | # of Times Wooden's Wisdom Issues Opened: 6,615,218

Hosting & Design