Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Keeping Your Leadership Skills Relevant

Volume: January-Mid 2012

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com


Jack was a top-of-the-line leader, whom was admired by the people he led. He was intelligent and confident, and utilized cutting-edge management tools and leadership techniques. Jack was a highly-valued performer for his company. Along his leadership journey, however, something happened to Jack. He became comfortable with his “winning formula,” got set in his leadership ways, and stopped coaching and growing his people. Over the years his leadership methods became dated and ineffective. Even the language he used when communicating with team members was viewed as old-school. Ultimately, he lacked a cutting-edge flair, and people lost confidence in him.


Have you ever met or worked with someone like Jack? A terrific professional whom, at some point, lost their edge? Working with the Jack’s of the world can be an awkward, frustrating experience. So how do we avoid becoming one of those leaders who gets stuck in our own winning formula, and in the process becomes irrelevant and ineffective? The short answer is to concentrate on coaching and developing your people. That’s right, the best leaders are not only good at the functional aspects of their job, but they strive to continually grow their team members. They understand that teaching others reinforces best practices. In addition, these leaders gain a bonus – their creative juices keep flowing, which feeds their personal thirst for life-long learning. They realize that they must continually grow their own knowledge base if they are to be effective in transferring meaningful knowledge to their team members. This calls for them to read, learn, explore, and frequently connect with thought-leaders


Bottom Line: Leaders who enable coaching and development in the workplace increase results because their people can do more. They also force themselves to stay current on cutting-edge leadership tools and techniques in order to meet the needs of their valued team members. In the process, leaders who coach and develop team members raise the bar regarding their own leadership excellence.   


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