I’ve been dealing with a great many “gatekeepers” lately. At one time, our cities were made safe by walls and the only way to enter was through a gate. I fell in love with the beautiful city gate found in San Juan, Puerto Rico, pictured here. The inscription above the gate reads, in Latin, Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, which translates to, Blessed in he that comes in the name of the Lord. Isn’t that a nice way to welcome guests into your city?

The gatekeepers I’m dealing with are not protecting a city. They are people who’ve been given authority to safeguard an aspect of their organization. However, a little bit of authority often grows into an over-developed sense of control. There is a fine line between control that protects and control that harms. The gate to the city of San Juan remained open except in times of war or extreme danger. The gates to many of our organizations remain closed as their default position. While staying shut, opportunities pass by and entrepreneurial leaders who are denied entry move on to more welcoming places.

A leader keeps the gates open. A leader knows that new possibilities and strong partners and fresh ideas are outside the walls of the organization and it serves no one to keep the gates closed. If you’re in a position of “watching the gates” for your organization, take a good look at how hard it is to open your doors.