Dianne Durkin is the president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a consulting and training firm focused on increasing corporate profitability by providing individually tailored consulting and training services that enhance employee, customer and brand loyalty. The firm has helped small and large organizations like IBM, Fidelity Investment and IKEA, by engaging all constituencies to drive improved customer relationship and management skills.
Dianne Durkin is a visionary entrepreneur and is author of “The Loyalty Advantage,” and the upcoming book, “Magnetic Leadership.” She is a thought leader with more than 25 years of experience in the field, having held top executive positions at Gulf Oil, Digital Equipment Corp. and Corporate Branding Partnership.
What are you working on right now?
Well, in addition to providing consulting services to many of my clients, I’m also working on “Magnetic Leadership,” my next book, which focuses on leadership styles, and specifically on leaders who have an irresistible force of good leadership and are differentiated from charismatic leaders. I’m defining magnetic characteristics as one which creates results of increased productivity and profitability. The book is based on my extensive research and firsthand experiences with leaders who have made a difference in their style of leading organization, and who have attracted, retained and transformed employees into engaged and loyal team members committed to the success of their organization. The book also provides assessments that help anyone determine their “Level of Magnetic Leadership,” as well as strategies and techniques on how to increase one’s magnetism.
3 Trends that excite you?
The integration of a multi-generational workforce.
The combination of great experience and the energy and global-thinking of the youth.
The new focus on leadership development.
These trends are changing the business world and the way businesses are managed and led.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by living and practicing them myself. I then take it to the next level and educate and coach people in the workplace — employees, managers, leaders, CEOs and everyone in between. This helps spread my ideas and the practice all around the world. It is amazing how infectious passion and belief can be.
What is one mistake you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
The biggest mistake I made was not releasing contract firms soon enough when they were not performing. I tend to become very loyal to the firms I contract with and view them as employees, and I always think that they will improve.
This happened with both a telemarketing firm and a public relations firm I had. In each case I should have stopped the contract at least six months before we did. Also, it’s important to note that in both cases this was not a contractual issue since the telemarketing firm had been with me for four years and the public relations firm for nine years.
In both cases the firms grew and expanded, and because of this, we were assigned more junior people with less experience. The result was that expectations were not being met. We discussed it numerous times and simply should have realized what was happening earlier and parted earlier.
When we eventually did part it was on very good terms.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
The Passion Test — Everyone needs to read and review this every six months.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Never get comfortable in the business you’re in. Always look for new, innovative ways to grow and expand your business and redefine yourself.
If you are not continually growing personally, and in your business, you will most definitely lose ground.
What are your top three strengths, and what are you top three areas for development?
These need to be at the forefront of a person’s mind to continually learn and grow organizations. Clearly recognizing the engagement and empowerment of employees is key, and excellent leadership practice is the answer.
The global and creative thinking of organizations happens when those at the company are able to look beyond what they’ve always done to accomplish more and make a real difference in the world.
Have you taken any time for yourself?
As an entrepreneur and business owner who has passion for what I do — and really wants to make a difference in this world – I can easily work 12-hour days and burn out. It’s important to learn your point of rest and relaxation and what you need to do to recharge, and then to do it!
E-mail: [email protected]
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.