Monday, November 22, 2021

Management, Leadership, and Consensus

Few of us recall our first Tweet, our first Facebook post, or what our initial LinkedIn profile looked like. However, I vividly recall the first few folks I met thanks to social media. 

Eleven years ago, Doug Dickerson, a leadership blogger, trainer, author, and speaker first appeared here on my Blog in 2010, after I read his inspiring book, Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders. Doug has more than 30 years of experience in various leadership positions, and he strives to inspire others to become better equipped as leaders. He is a member of the John Maxwell Team and contributes to various newspapers, business journals, and websites around the world. Connect with Doug on Twitter at @DougDickersonSC, on Facebook at @CardinalPointLeadership, on Instagram at @DougDickerson1, and visit his site at

With leadership always a hot topic - especially in the covid era and the accompanying changes to the workplace and leadership, it's a good time for another Q&A with Doug, and highlights follow below.

QUESTION: Since the Covid-19 pandemic began a year ago, how has it impacted the role of leadership?
DOUG DICKERSON: Covid impacted leadership in many ways. Most notably, the way in which we as leaders interact with others. One of the hallmarks of leadership is relationships, and the way in which we establish and maintain them is through personal interaction. Because of Covid, everyone had to pivot and learn how to keep personal connections strong even though it was done via Zoom or other platforms.

QUESTION: How can a President/CEO become an organization's number one brand ambassador?
DOUG DICKERSON: I believe that the best way for a President/CEO to be the number one brand ambassador is by always keeping the vision and mission at the forefront of everything they say and do. It’s easy to lose sight of what your organization is all about if it's not being regularly communicated. This person must be proactive about reminding his or her people of who they are, what they do, and why it matters.

QUESTION: How do you differentiate between a leader and a manager?
DOUG DICKERSON: Someone once said that you manage things, you lead people. Good management requires good leadership. Managers oversee the work/projects of the organization and that requires people skills. Sadly, many wait too long to begin leadership training, and thus, put the organization at a disadvantage. Good management coupled with sound leadership skills can be of tremendous benefit to any organization.

QUESTION: When President Obama introduced Janet Yellen as the new Federal Reserve Chair in October 2013, he said, "Janet Yellen is a proven leader who knows how to build consensus, the kind of person who makes everybody around her better." What three characteristics do you think are necessary to create a consensus builder?
DOUG DICKERSON:A strong consensus builder, I believe, possesses these three qualities:
(1) They are inclusive. They bring many voices to the table and seek out the input of others.
(2) Trust. Without trust, it will be hard to build or sustain consensus in an organization.
(3) Communication. Smart leaders regularly communicate with their team members to build consensus and keep morale strong.

TWEET THIS: A strong consensus builder brings many voices to the table and seeks out the input of others. -@DougDickersonSC #LeadershipTips #EmployeeExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: What’s your favorite leadership quote and why?
DOUG DICKERSON: My favorite leadership quote is by Lao Tzu: "A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves."

I like this quote so much because it speaks of a leader who empowers his people, puts them in the spotlight, and has them believe they did it all themselves - which is the primary aim of the leader. It speaks of a leader's humility, not seeking all the credit and glory for himself.

QUESTION: One of my favorite leadership quotes is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): "Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." What does this quote mean to you?
DOUG DICKERSON: What this quote means to me is that we are all a part of something larger than ourselves, and it’s not about me. I want to add value to those around me, and the greatest way I can do that is by serving others.

TWEET THIS: We are all a part of something larger than ourselves, and it’s not about me. -@DougDickersonSC #LeadershipTips #EmployeeExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog

My gratitude and appreciation to Doug for again appearing on my Blog and for sharing his inspiring leadership insights.

Check out Doug's previous appearances on this Blog:

A Review of “Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders” (2010)

What Yahoo's Recent Scandal Says About Leadership (2012)

Tips to Develop Your Leadership Legacy (2018)

Leadership Is a Marathon, Not a 100-Yard Dash (2019)

Image Credit: Debbie Laskey.

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