Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


The Leadership Professional

Volume: August 2010

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


Prior to starting my company in 1997 I spent 14 years in the corporate world. I enjoyed the experience. Whether I was leading a sales team, working with small or large customers, or starting a new market area, I always treated my assignment like it was my own business. Similarly to many of you, I started my career as part of a team, an individual producer. The more I achieved, the more responsibilities I received. Until one day, about four years into my career, I became a leader. Like many of you I was thrown into the position. With no training and little guidance, I was left to manage both the people and the situation as best I could. Luckily, I hired and inherited some terrific professionals along the way. Also, I had a pretty good head on my shoulders (thanks, mom and dad), so I muddled my way through the twists and turns of leadership. All the time, I was still responsible for team results, my individual production, and attendance at (ugh) corporate meetings. Along the journey, I became fascinated by human behavior and the effect of different leadership styles on work behavior. I began to take leadership courses and attend seminars. During my corporate tenure I picked up my MBA. Much later, I started my own company in order to work with leaders and to be involved with the profession of leadership.


So where am I going with this little tale? Well, so many of us are responsible for so many things, such as individual production, that it is easy to lose sight of our key role: being a leadership professional. What I mean to say is this: if you are focused more on your individual production, or on moving your career or business forward than you are on being a great leader, you are actually hurting your production and stunting your career or business growth.



  1. Impact culture. This leads to a healthy (if you are a good leader) or a dysfunctional (if you are a lesser leader) atmosphere in your organization. 
  2. Ensure results. Good leaders tend to have a remarkable record of team achievement – even during adverse market conditions.  
  3. Maintain good morale. When a corporate culture is healthy, it is easier to inspire people and unleash the motivation that lies within them. 
  4. Communicate clearly and frequently. This leads to a well-informed team and a minimized grapevine. Remember: people only retain about 20% of what they hear, and 10% of what they read. If you want your important communications to stick – repeat them. Frequently.  
  5. Develop talent. If you are not grooming a replacement and increasing your bench strength, you are doing a disservice to your people, your organization, and yourself.         


Could I go on with this list? You betcha. Together, you and I could list 100 or more leadership qualities that bear comment. That is the point. Leadership is a comprehensive profession. It is reserved for the highest of talent. If you are not already a student of leadership, become one. And share your wisdom and your stories with others.


Until next time. Be well.

Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and business planner. He is also the author of Leadership Simplified – THE Field Guide for Savvy Leaders.  Doug’s audios and videos are also available at www.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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