Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

Leadership Blog

The Importance of Being a Team Player

Most NFL teams have opened their training camps for spring drills. It is a time for the players to reunite and rekindle their team chemistry. From a teambuilding standpoint it is important that all key players attend. For some players though, it is time to “hold out” and skip camp as they attempt to renegotiate their contracts. The vast majority of the time, the hold-out strategy is successful. Last week, however, something unusual happened.

 

Mike Wallace, the all-pro wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers was a no-show at training camp. Apparently, the one-year, $9 million offer from the Steelers was not tasty enough for Mr. Wallace. A fan who was concerned that a key piece of the team’s success last year might remain absent, asked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to comment about the situation. Brandishing a viewpoint that he was much more interested in who showed up rather than who did not, coach Tomlin calmly stated: “That’s bad……for him.” I love that response. Coach Tomlin’s comment sends a clear message that the team is more important than one player. There is a message in Mr. Tomlin’s words for all leaders: The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts – do not be held hostage by the actions or behavior of one team member.

 

So what has happened in the Steelers camp since last week? Well, they signed a different wide receiver (an existing team member who showed up for camp) to a long-term contract. This action leaves little room for Mr. Wallace to rejoin the team. A curiosity question then becomes: Will Mr. Wallace play football this season? The answer is most assuredly “yes.” But for what team? At what reduced salary? And will that team fare as well as the Steelers?

 

So many questions for someone who is not a team player. So many positive possibilities for players who come together as a team!

 

Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a Tampa Bay based leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. Doug’s book, Leadership Simplified, as well as CDs and DVDs are available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about coaching and training services, contact Doug today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 

© 2012 Leadership Simplified. All rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2012-07-30 at 05:04 PM
collaboration • (0) CommentsPermalink

The Leading of Yahoo (and other organizations that have lost their way)

On July 17th Marissa Mayer, the former Google executive started her new job as CEO of Yahoo. Setting aside the jaw-dropping financial package secured by Ms. Mayer, one might question the wisdom of leaving Google to join Yahoo. After all, Google has clearly won the search engine war. In addition, Google has effectively monetized key product lines and diversified its revenue model. Alternatively, Yahoo has been losing market share, changing leadership, and appearing dead-in-the-water for years. Yet, Yahoo still has a handful of competencies that they do very well. They also have a global footprint and a well-recognized moniker. So what is Ms. Mayer to do? Well, here are my thoughts: 

  1. Identify a few product lines in which Yahoo’s capabilities are the best in the world. Then, focus and go deep on those product lines.
  2. Jettison all other, non-essential product lines.
  3. Rebrand with a laser-focus on clearly defined, easy to understand product lines. Note: An entirely new perception of Yahoo will need to be created during this process. Recall that Apple used to be perceived as a computer manufacturer and now they are thought of as much for their phones and how easy they make it for people to connect and gather information as they are for their computers.
  4. Succinctly and frequently communicate with internal colleagues, the marketplace, and with investors. In sum, over-communicate just what business Yahoo is in and why it matters.
  5. Stick to your guns. In other words, Ms. Mayer will need to give investors, the marketplace, and internal colleagues an opportunity to acclimate to Yahoo’s rebranding changes. Over the past few years Yahoo’s strategy has been a moving target. The new leadership must give Yahoo’s corporate culture a chance to change, embrace a rebrand, and stabilize.
  6. Celebrate victories and breakthroughs. Not a lot of celebration has occurred in Yahoo’s corner of Silicon Valley of late. This needs to change. Ms. Mayer should lead the celebratory bandwagon and rejoice any type of small, medium, or large victory she observes.

 

The above stated strategies are by no means reserved solely for Yahoo. Any business or corporate division that has lost its way but still possesses great potential can embrace these actions. The implementation of these ideas simply calls for a pragmatic leader who crafts an attainable vision for her people. Her laser-focus and drive, coupled with motivated team members will take care of the rest.

 

Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a Tampa Bay based leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. Doug’s book, Leadership Simplified, as well as CDs and DVDs are available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about coaching and training services, contact Doug today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 

© 2012 Leadership Simplified. All rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2012-07-30 at 05:00 PM
coaching and consulting • (0) CommentsPermalink

A² = Acknowledge & Ask

For all you math-a-fobes out there, do not be intimidated by the title of this blog post. It has nothing to do with arithmetic, although it does contain a formula. The formula applies to communication and it is a great way to move a conversation forward and position yourself to leverage advanced communication techniques such as paraphrasing. The first thing the A2 technique calls for you to do is acknowledge what the other person has said. It is easy to acknowledge someone by simply nodding your head in an affirmative manner. The second step is to ask a probing or open-ended question. If you are curious about how to come across as conversational as opposed to interrogational, check out our December 2010 newsletter in the e-Learning section of Leadership Simplified. Okay, back to A2. Your acknowledgements will keep the focus on the other person, and your “asks” will allow you to take the conversation where you want it to go, without appearing pushy. Want to be subtle, a good listener, and in command? Get algebraic and go A2!        

 

 

Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. Doug’s book, Leadership Simplified, as well as CDs and DVDs are available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about coaching and training services, contact Doug today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 

© 2012 Leadership Simplified. All rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2012-07-05 at 07:37 AM
coaching and consulting • (0) CommentsPermalink
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