Let them use your toilet

I was walking in my neighbourhood today and saw this sign taped to the front door of a restaurant close to my home:

Signs like this on the front door of your restaurant, store, company, or whatever you lead, hurt more than they help. Everyone who walks by and sees the sign with all caps, block letters, double red underlines, and two exclamation marks are likely to picture two things.

First, they'll imagine that the people who lead your organization are cranky.

Second, they'll make the assumption that if your leaders are cranky, they must also be cheap and probably poor at customer service.

So my stance is simple. Just let people use your toilet—even if they don't buy something from you, because they'll enter and leave your organization feeling like you are welcoming and generous (as compared to confrontational and curmudgeonly).

It really comes down to what kind of leader and organization you want to be known as: cranky or generous?

Me? I'd pick the second. I'd let people use my toilet. I'd give them a free coffee refill. I'd have a conversation with everyone who walked in regardless of whether or not they were buying something. Because it's the generous organizations that win. And the cranky ones that lose.

Little things like signs seem little. But they communicate big things.

What signs are you putting on your front doors?

Have an open door and open everything policy. It'll lead to long term gain.