Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Leaders: What Lies Ahead in 2011

Volume: February 2011

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


Hopefully your New Year is percolating along. Many industries are experiencing an uptick in their business activity and results. Fan those flames leaders! In an effort to help you guide your way, we here at Leadership Simplified wanted to share four insights regarding the remainder of 2011. Your thoughts and additions to our list are strongly encouraged.


  1. An improving economy. Corporate revenues and profits are growing organically again. In other words, companies have improved earnings as much as possible through cost cutting measures. Current and future financial growth solidly resides in growing the business the old fashioned way – by selling more stuff and skillfully ensuring sufficient profit margins. This calls for the operations side of the business to be organized efficiently and communicating effectively with their sales brethren. On the flipside, the sales team needs to have their prospect outreach and negotiations game on. All areas of the business need to be ready and willing to collaborate.


  1. A renewed focus on training and development. For the past 2 – 3 years many companies have placed growing their people on the sidelines. As people are charged with doing more with less, however, it becomes imperative that their skills are continually sharpened and increased. How do leaders best grow the skills of their people? Answer: embrace a leadership style that is focused on coaching, and implement a healthy regiment of training. If conducted properly, training and development should deliver an observable, positive difference in team members. In other words, you should experience a handsome ROI, as opposed to sunk cost.


  1. A languishing job market. Unfortunately, as companies continue to be conservative with their cash reserves, job growth will be sluggish. In the short run this is bothersome – especially to overworked teams and frustrated job seekers. In the long run, it is also a bit of a concern, as the U.S. economy appears to be recalibrating to a growth mode that contains a high level of unemployment. More on this issue in future newsletters. For now, most organizations are faced with efficiencies through better team work, as well as leveraging technological advances and opportunities. Leaders should be instilling or reinforcing a mindset that challenges team members to reengineer their processes and automate as many actions as possible.


  1. The continued emergence of the Internet. This past holiday season was a bastion of success for Internet retailers. Clearly, the ease of comparison shopping and the Internet’s convenience has integrated online purchasing into the psyche of the mainstream shopper. The fact that we live in an instant gratification society does not hurt either.

    Business consumers are increasingly conducting their search and due diligence on the Internet. In other words, if a client has recently purchased your products or engaged your services, they more than likely checked out your website thoroughly beforehand. More importantly, make certain that your online presence reflects your desired image and that your goods and services are readily available for easy purchase via the Internet!


In future communiqués we will address banking, real estate, and a cadre of other areas. For now, we rest with a list of four items for your consideration. Make 2011 soar – you have the power!    


Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. He is also the author of Leadership Simplified – THE Field Guide for Savvy Leaders.  Doug’s audios and videos are also available atwww.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about consulting services, coaching, and training, or to have Doug help your team work together better, contact him today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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