Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

Leadership Blog

The Economy Has Turned the Corner (a good corner)

Yes, gas prices are sky high and our grocery bills a bit more than they were, but the economic outlook shows a general trend of growth. In fact, in a poll earlier this week of the top 45 economists in the U.S., there was virtual consensus that economic growth will be experienced this year. In addition, the employment outlook for 2012 looks downright strong. Are we fully out of the woods and into a nice, sunny economic clearing? Answer: not yet. We still have a plethora of thorns to avoid, not the least of which is the pesky national debt. My economic advice is two-fold:

  1. Think positively and control what you can control (i.e., be strategic about your business)
  2. Contact your local politicians (frequently) and remind them that we are one country, not two political parties.  
Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2011-04-26 at 07:54 AM
coaching and consulting • (0) CommentsPermalink

Time Management - Chunking Your Day Plan

Time management is mission critical for busy professionals. In fact, time management is one of the most popular coaching and training topics we offer here at Leadership Simplified. But all time management is not created equal. Consider this: does the day plan of an entry level leader look similar to that of an executive vice president? Hopefully your answer was “no.” The frustration that many higher level leaders experience however, is that the tools that helped them to be successful as new and mid-level leaders do not quite fit the bill now that they are senior-level leaders. One example I offer is that of a day plan. What I mean by a day plan is a strategic map of how your day will be successful. If you are not day planning at all, we need to talk. Assuming that you prepare some sort of daily roadmap, it is time to look at it critically. Up to a certain point in our leadership careers we load our day plans with tasks and specifics – it is a beautiful thing that helps us execute better and mitigate items that fall through the cracks. As our responsibilities grow however, we need to adjust our time management paradigm. (Does anyone really know the definition of paradigm? Ah, I digress). The adjustment I recommend is called “chunking.” When chunking your day plan, think less in terms of specific items and actions, and more in terms of global accomplishment. For instance, a high-level leader I coach has over 70 initiatives on his plate. He is going nuts trying to keep his fingers on the pulse of an overwhelming amount of responsibility. So we worked up a plan for him to chunk his day. For example, he has a communication chunk; a delegation chunk; a coach-and-develop-team-members chunk; an empower-others chunk; and importantly, a keep-me-sane chunk. He finds that he can manage chunks better and easier. In the process, his team is more involved in implementation and, because he now stays out of the weeds, they are also receiving better communication and more of his guidance.


Bottom Line: No matter what your level of leadership think strategically about how you manage your time. Make certain that you have a system that feels right for you – and use your system religiously!

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2011-04-14 at 08:24 AM
coaching and consulting • (0) CommentsPermalink
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