Kathy Dore – Her Wisdom Is a Business Driver
“I saw Kathy Dore do this again and again during the years when she was a client. I noticed that when something didn’t work the way she’d hoped – a program, a sales effort, a business process – she’d sit down with her team and have an honest post-mortem. She’d ask, “Why didn’t this work?” or “What held us back from even greater success?” Then she’d help guide the conversation so that people could discover those elements of the effort most likely to be the source of any problems. Once they had gotten clearer on the “shape” of the problem, she’d ask, “What do we need to do differently next time to make this work (or make it work even better)?” And I know from speaking to her that her self-talk about this process was generally hopeful and practical: We can figure this out. We can make this better.
And the results? Kathy built strong, loyal, capable teams who deeply respected and supported her as their leader – and together they were able to build new businesses, turn around failing businesses, drive existing businesses to achieve much higher levels of success.”
— From Chapter 6 of Leading So People Will Follow
The first time I met Kathy, 16 years ago, I was immediately impressed with her wisdom. The way she gathered and reflected on ideas and input before responding gave the sense that she was giving important issues the consideration they deserved.
However- and this is key – she was not slow or indecisive. In fact, she made tough, complex decisions well and quickly…she just didn’t rush, or decide in an arbitrary or superficial way.
Sometimes it seems we assume that wisdom is a quality best left to philosophers and academics – those who aren’t bound by the deadlines and financial constraints of business.
But in my experience, the opposite is true, and Kathy’s a great example. When a far-sighted, passionate, courageous leader is also wise, it strikes a great balance. Wisdom is the counterweight to the forward motion of those first three traits; it keeps far-sightedness from becoming unrealistic, passion from turning into dogma, and courage from drifting into foolhardiness.
And now I have the great good fortune of benefiting from Kathy’s wisdom on a daily basis: in 2009 she went from client to colleague. Since then she’s served as a senior advisor at Proteus, and her wisdom is helping us grow well, and helping our clients create clear vision and strategy. Her wisdom simply has a new vehicle for driving businesses and catalyzing strong, thoughtful, successful teams.