There are two types of people at work. Open loop people and closed loop people.
Those who open loops (by starting projects, having ideas, setting intentions) and those who close them (by delivering on their word, finishing tasks and following through).
Everyone starts open loop, but the best people get good at closing them too. It’s a small but crucial shift.
Open loop people:
• Seem disorganised
• Don’t send updates
• Need following up
• Forget priority order
• Go off on tangents
• Half-finish projects
• Are led by emotion
Closed loop people
• Seem organised
• Send regular updates
• Don’t need following up
• Focus on priorities
• Stick to the plan
• Complete projects
• Are led by logic and structure
Over a long enough time frame, open loops will drive you mad.
Working with these people feels like juggling with too many balls in the air. At some point, one or more are going to fall, and it’s frustrating to keep track.
The funny thing is, the open loop people might be working just as hard. They might be just as intelligent, just as diligent in their work. But they have failed to nail the art of closing loops, so they don't tend to be easy to work with.
Closed loops will bring you calm. Closed loop people communicate and function as conscientious team members.
They won’t go unnoticed, they won’t be overlooked for opportunities. They impress you. They become inherently more valuable.
How do you help open loop people?
Nudges in the right direction, every day.
Show them this concept. Gently pull them up on specific actions, set them reminders.
Explain that their genius is going to waste because of this one simple shift.