Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


The Thankful Leader - 2023 Edition

Volume: November 2023

Happy Thanksgiving Leaders! It’s time for our annual thankful-leader newsletter. As we enter the home stretch of 2023, many organizations are focusing on daunting challenges they will face during 2024. Some of the challenges are personnel related, others are financial. Many organizations will be executing strategic pivots, as well as entering new markets. With a swirl of topics on a leader’s mind, it is easy to lose sight of some very important actions. These actions include giving thanks. With Thanksgiving next week, this is an excellent opportunity for all of us to take stock and reflect outwardly and inwardly on the many things for which we have to be thankful. There is a meaningful list when you truly focus on the important.
If the Covid era did one thing, it has reinforced our appreciation and value for our family. Yes, yes, even those family members. Take time to have special moments with your significant other and close family members this week. My wife, Veronica, is incredible. I am thankful for her support, encouragement, and love. My sons are amazing. They are achieving, learning, growing, and contributing to the world. Bravo! Without family, leaders can easily become lost. Our families can serve as a compass for us, as well as a foundation. Savor. Give thanks for the many amazing people who are part of your family
Friendships (including our Furry Friends)
Our closest friends bring richness to our world. Not only do I have the best clients in the world (and the coolest!), but I am blessed to have the most incredible friends on the planet. Take time this week to reach out to your best friends. Let them know specifically what makes them magical. They will probably share why you are magical to them. Doesn’t our world need a little more magic? Make it so. And don’t forget the love and comfort our pets and furry friends bring to us. Even if you are a cat-person, there is something special there.
Health, Spirituality & Your Ability to Thrive
We all have differing levels of health. Give thanks for what health you have. Strive to be healthier – in your mind, with your body, in your soul. Savor your spirituality and give thanks mightily during this holiday season. Cherish your ability to craft your future and to thrive. We must move forward in order to not fall behind. Strategize. Set a course. Execute! 
Your Company/Organization
The Herculean work of your team members this year has been nothing less than inspiring. Whether you are part of a small shop, or work for a Fortune 500 company, odds are good there are many things for which to give thanks. Take a moment and make a list of the top five positives related to your organization. Give thanks for those five items. Be intentional about using your leadership influence to enhance your organization’s strengths going forward.
Your Customers/Clients/Patients
Be thankful for your customers or whatever moniker suits the people your organization serves. Heck, providing excellent service and products to customers is an organization’s reason for existing. This week, review your list of customers, clients, patients. Even though the client’s name may say ABC Corp, they are people and, of course, worthy of our thanks. This week, give thanks to the many people who are your customers and who deserve our best each day.
Your Team
Be thankful for the professionals that comprise your team. While some are frustrating, most are heroes. Savor them. Ponder the positives and the smiles that your team brings to the workplace. Share effective feedback with your people and help them feel valued. Place differences to the side. Give thanks for the difficult situations that seemingly drive co-workers or groups apart. Ultimately, we grow stronger from experiencing and overcoming workplace challenges. While the following phrase is trite, it is a true acronym for TEAM: “together everyone achieves more.” Share your thanks with others in your organization, directly and in-person, if possible. I will let you in on a secret, your team members are thankful for your leadership. Share a meaningful moment with them this week.   
Your Thirst to Learn
The fact that you are reading this newsletter connotes that you are a life-long learner. Give thanks for the fact that you love to grow your skills and enhance your knowledge. It is a terrific trait, and certainly something worthy of giving thanks. Keep on learning. Keep on growing. In fact, I challenge you to make a list of the three areas in which you will learn and grow during 2024. Take time, ponder how you want to raise your bar of excellence. The rest becomes easy. It is merely a matter of execution. Learn, and be thankful for this desire.
Allies & Outside Resources
Every organization has people outside of it who provide value. Take time to give thanks for those who refer business to you. Appreciate service providers who help you when you are in a bind. Make a list of the top seven people outside of your organization who positively impact your work world. Give them a call or reach out in some way. Let them know you are thankful for their efforts and their acumen.
Your Country
While this newsletter is read by leaders in 17 countries, all of those countries are free and wonderful. Be thankful for your country and what it stands for. Give thanks to the men and women of your nation who sacrifice to keep it free. Realize that despite all challenges we live in a marvelous, exciting time. Be confident in the knowledge that good always triumphs over evil. Give thanks for your nation!
Be Thankful for Yourself
Some of you are funny, and all of you like to laugh. Some of you are great thinkers, and all of you contemplate each day. Some of you are creative, and some of you appreciate creativity. However, all of you are unique and talented. Take a moment and look in the mirror. Give thanks for who you are and what you have accomplished. You are a leader. You make positive differences in people’s lives. And you accomplish meaningful things each day. Give yourself a break, and give yourself some thanks.  
Bottom Line: Be an incredible leader and give thanks often. There is much to appreciate. Look around. There is heroism everywhere. Peek through the foggy curtains that are created by stress and tasks, and simply gaze. Then, take pause. And, be thankful for your amazing world.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Until next time, be well.
Doug Van Dyke is sincerely thankful for the incredible people and organizations in his world. He is an executive coach, leadership development expert, and strategic planner. To learn about upcoming Leadership Simplified events, feel free to click on any of these links: leadership development programs, 1-day leadership boot camps, executive coaching, strategic planning. To have Doug speak at your next event, visit www.leadershipsimplified.com or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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