What would happen if we turned off email?

Recently I had the opportunity to hear a lecture by Simon Sinek, a motivational speaker and management guru. I was fortunate afterwards to have Mr. Sinek join my Vistage group for lunch.

I asked him how he kept up with his email. I complained that I feel dissatisfied with my current state of continual connectedness and the associated time drain.

His response: “I turned my professional email off two years ago. Anyone that sends me an email gets an auto response stating that my reliance on email was limiting my growth and not allowing me to fully serve my constituents. If you would like to connect with me please call my office”.

Sinek went on to say that by his estimate 80% of the senders opt not to make the call, and he suggests the message was not important enough to warrant the extra step.

I’m now trying to personalize this and decide a strategy that works for me. Don’t be surprised if your email doesn’t get a reply. My office is on the 2nd Floor of the Annex and my extension is 5501.

I feel better already.

– Dave
  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:56h, 06 February Reply

    I agree that advice like this seems good coming from a successful motivational guru. However, I disagree. I think that knowing any employee has e-mail access to the president of our organization gives a good feeling of an open door policy. Open for comments or suggestions, or just to air a problem someone want to pass up to higher levels. Yes, you can be called on the phone but you are a busy administrator and not always available due to professional commitments. Do you think it would be easier to screen a lot of voice mails or scan a set of e-mails. You could have your e-mail routed to you through an assitant who reviews messages. Overall I think it is important to keep the door open to all employees and having e-mail access supports that feeling.

  • Melanie
    Posted at 20:52h, 11 February Reply

    I agree with the other post. Many employees at KSB may work only 3rd shift or only on weekends or evenings and don't have the option of calling your office or knocking on the door to speak to you personally. Perhaps you could set aside a certain time each day to review emails from employees. An automated reply such as the one you mentioned sends a message that your time is more valuable than the person's that sent the email. Perhaps that email that gets dismissed had a really great idea that got missed only because it wasn't relayed in person.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:40h, 19 February Reply

    Curious to know if your e-mail is on or off. Either way a definite announcement of the status is called for to clear up uncertainty as to your accessibility to employee comments.

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