Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

Leadership Blog

A Flood of Leadership

A few weeks ago one of the worst natural disasters in history occurred, yet the world’s reaction has been banal at best. The floods in Pakistan have displaced over 20 million people and have affected nearly 30% of the land mass in Pakistan. To put this into perspective, the Pakistan flooding has impacted more people than the top three natural disasters in the past decade (i.e., the Indonesian Tsunami, the South American earthquake, and the Haitian earthquake) combined! How is it that there has not been more assistance offered to mitigate this horrific occurrence? There are several reasons:

  1. Leadership has not communicated in a fashion that has engaged the media.
  2. Visual images that bring the issue to life have been sparse.
  3. The financial repercussions relating to the catastrophe have not been placed in proper context.

Bottom Line: Important issues need to be transformed into compelling visuals. Then, visual images need to be displayed and leadership needs to comment on the impact of the situation frequently. Leadership also needs to be very specific on what actions they desire others to take. Boldness trumps courtesy in cases of catastrophe.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2010-08-27 at 06:23 AM
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Manage Corporate Assets Like Investments, or Not

The stock market goes up, the stock market goes down. Repeat. This has been the trend over the past few years. It is maddening for some, and causes others to just sit on the sidelines. It seems like the good old investment days of “buy and hold,” are over. Thus, many people who would otherwise prefer to be passive investors, should realize they must take an active interest in their long-term financial welfare. This does not mean simply turn over your investments to a financial professional. Rather, just as you do in your business; keep tabs on your assets. Manage them yourself or manage the people to whom you delegate the oversight of your precious assets. The bottom line is this: whether it is business assets or personal investment assets, make certain that your fingers are on the pulse of their performance.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2010-08-03 at 07:29 AM
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Innovate, Reinvent, and Take a Deep Breath

The economy, which you and I cannot do a darned thing about, is deciding whether it wants to tread water or move towards the shore. As such, we need to control what we can control and make certain that our businesses and careers move forward. Now is the perfect time to look for ways to innovate your business. Pursue new ideas that can broaden product lines and propel sales upward. Maybe a dose of reinvention is in order. This can range from revamped processes to a more streamlined organizational chart to training that adds new tools and techniques to the workforce. Lastly, take a deep breath and relax. The media is bombarding us again with doom, gloom, and mixed messages. Listen with optimism. See with opportunistic eyes. Above all, take positive action, focus on what you can control, and implement as much as you plan.   

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2010-08-02 at 06:56 AM
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Blast PR - Be Careful and Strategic

A client recently asked my advice regarding an email blast press release. His scenario and question is as follows:


“Dear Marketing Guru (he didn’t really write that, just humor me and read on),

My target market is small to mid-size employers, and I have access to a lot of email addresses. I have an exciting new product line that will interest them. I am debating on sending a blast email with my Press Release attached. It seems like an easy way to get in front of a large number of employers, however, it also sounds like SPAM. Do you think there is value in pushing an email out to these employers?  Or, does this close the door on these prospects if my efforts are viewed as SPAM?

Signed, spammed and confused.”


I appreciate it when clients pose questions to me. As such, I thought my answer might be helpful to others who are pondering pulling the trigger on blast emails. So without further ado, here are a few items from my response:


A good rule of thumb to follow is to avoid looking like a spammer. Thus, if YOU are concerned that your blast email may be perceived as spam, don’t send it. Only send out email blasts to people who have given you approval to correspond with them or receive your materials (i.e., newsletters, etc.). You may want to consider using an online PR service (some are free, some have a nominal cost like PRweb.com). If you do send out an electronic press release, embed hyperlinks in it so that readers can be redirected to your website or view additional material. Whether you choose to blast out the press release or not, referencing excerpts from your press release on your Linked In profile and other social media would be fine, if not encouraged.


There are a bevy of additional actions to take. Why not share one PR strategy that has worked for you?

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2010-08-02 at 06:51 AM
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