When it comes to open and closed book management styles, which one is best?

Closed management companies hold meetings behind closed doors. They keep secrets and have high turnover. When someone leaves, other employees are envious.

I thought as a company grew, it would eventually move from open to closed book management. Not true. Here are two examples that answer the question above.

The first is a company at least 50 years old with approximately 30 salespeople. Two of the owners told me they have no secrets. I've worked with lots of companies, but the employees of this one appeared more like one big happy family. They were sharing leads and trying to help each other close.

The second company also had open management. In one-on-one interviews, all 17 of their salespeople told me they felt they were compensated fairly and could talk with their supervisor or the owner about anything. All 17 -- including several in their 20s -- said this was a company they'd like to retire from. That's open management at its best.

--Phil Rea is president of Phil Rea and Associates, a firm offering sales consulting, motivational speaking, and a monthly newsletter. (866) 441-7445; philrea@aol.com.