Q&A with Leadership Expert Dirk D.

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See what our Expert Advisor Dirk Dykson, has to say:

Q: What are some trends or strategies you’re seeing with your clients?
A:  A trend I am seeing leaders struggle with is building trust and achieving performance in current hybrid and remote environments. Leaders sometimes push for performance from a ‘goals and accountability’ angle, but by understanding and leveraging their team’s strengths they could be more effective. Being successful comes down to communication in many ways – we don’t communicate nearly as well as we think we do. When leaders work on improving communication, I see stronger performance.

  • In the absence of leveraging a team’s strengths, leaders often start with goals and accountability which is less successful.
  • If you are intentional with trust, communication, leaning on strengths, and understanding that people all think differently you can be so much more successful – my goal is to teach people how to do that and help facilitate that.

Q: What are your top questions when meeting with new clients?

A: It’s a series of questions – What is your current situation, What are your value and what is your five year vision, How are you going to get there, Who will you partner with, What are your strengths, and What are you doing to develop the next generation of leaders.

  • You need to be clear about your business and vision, but we are not meant to do it alone and we are limited by our own capacity. It’s important to invest in others and develop that next generation of leaders so we can achieve more.

Q: What is a challenge you see in 2022?

A: I’m noticing that DEI training is not really working – we are not getting the results we want. We want to see top, diverse, talent retained and for employees to really feel like they belong at a company. The problem is you can’t improve DEI by just focusing on DEI – a company needs to work on building relationships, community, empathy, and understanding their employee’s strengths. I’d like to see these aspects incorporated into how DEI training is done.

Q: What fires you up at work and in life?

A: Coaching youth sports. I’m fascinated with how leadership shows up in all areas of life – I define leadership as bringing out the best in others. I got into coaching because I wanted to focus on the kids and make sure they came out of their experience with a love for a sport, the feeling that they achieved excellence, and knowing they contributed. It takes a lot to figure out what is going to bring out the best in a kid and I geek out on that.

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