Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Seven Reasons Why 2014 Will Be Great

Volume: January 2014

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


The New Year is an exciting time. It is brimming with potential and fabulous intentions. While I am not a big fan of casual resolutions, I do recommend that leaders create and commit to goals. And track the heck out of the results that are achieved along the way. With this in mind, I put forth seven bold reasons why your leadership this year will drive great outcomes.


  1. You will clearly communicate the values of your organization. Whether your organization has created formal core values or not, you will make certain that team members know the common thread of values you expect to see running through everything they do. In fact, you are so committed to this goal, that you have tickled your calendar once per week to remind yourself to reinforce your organization’s values. Finally, you have committed to linking the behaviors you observe in the workplace to the feedback that you will share with team members every day. In the process, you realize that your consistent feedback will help your people to gain a visual image of the values that serve as the bedrock of your organization’s actions.
  2. You will share the expectation that team members will effectively collaborate with each other this year. In addition, you will highlight that collaboration across departmental and functional lines is not only expected, but that it is essential to the success of your organization. You will commit to sharing feedback with teams and individuals in order to ensure that they grasp the intense level of workplace collaboration that you expect.
  3. You will do a tremendous job of setting and maintaining the priorities of your organization. You realize that the work world is ever-changing, and that the pace of change is increasing each year. As such, you will help your team to be fluid and agile, while not losing sight of the big rocks in your organization’s world. In order to help team members cut through the swirl of priority distractions, you will utilize techniques such as the Priority Communication Tool to help your people keep their eyes on the real drivers of your organization.
  4. You will get the right people in the right positions and the wrong people off the bus. As a result, you will assist your top (and average) performers to do what they do best every day! This will help productivity to escalate. Also, you will help some team members realize that the work bus left the station years ago and they did not get on it. In other words, you will help your poorest performers realize that their skills and abilities have not kept pace with the changing needs of your work marketplace. Nice people? “Yes.” Perhaps more productive in a different work environment? “Yes.” ‘Nuff said.
  5. You will you manage the performance review process every day. In other words, you will share feedback so that team members have a clear gauge as to the quality of their work performance. In addition, you will catalog and document your feedback in an amazingly organized fashion. You may use an electronic feedback capture system, or you may use old-fashioned paper that is placed in a file folder. No matter the system, you will be organized in cataloging your feedback. Your efforts will pay off in a big way because at the end of this year preparation of performance evaluations will simply be an affirmation of the great coaching you have delivered during the year. In other words, no one will be surprised by their review results.
  6. You will focus on self-development. Yes, you will grow your leadership skills. In addition, you will seek to elevate your level of physical fitness and mental toughness. Who knows, you might actually get adequate sleep, eat right, and grow your spiritual self along the way. In other words, raise your bar this year. Raise it high. And do it with less effort than you think by enabling a trident that includes: Organization, self-discipline, and a coach.  
  7. You will laugh more this year. You work at a breakneck pace. As such, this year you will ensure that you and your team better enjoy the rocket-ride that you call work. Seek to laugh every day. Research tells us that the average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day, while the average 40-year-old laughs merely four. Granted, not many four-year-olds are paying a mortgage, a car payment, and who knows what else, but they are a happy lot. Plus, research tells us that laughter reduces stress, increases endorphins, and even helps blood flow more freely. Despite all of our responsibilities, there is a lot of room to laugh more – right? Of course there is! So this year seek to laugh more than you have in the last 10 years combined. Please do this.  


Bottom Line: This year you and your team will soar. But only if you choose to lead in a manner that enables everyone to fly. My strong advice is to highlight your favorite items from the above list and track your progress throughout the year. If you consistently nail all seven I guarantee you (yes, I said guarantee) that you and your team will have a blowout year. Heck, if you miss the mark, at least you will have laughed more than you have in a long, long time. Is that such a bad thing?


Until next time my friends, be well.  


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