I have worked with Dane and his management team in two companies in my role as an external leadership coach and consultant. Dane is a pleasure to work with on many levels. He is a strong senior-level leader, reporting directly to the President and on the senior executive team of both companies in which we worked. His business acumen is strategic and visionary and his interpersonal, business, and people management skills outstanding, one of the best I've seen in 20 years. Dane is a rare blend of extraordinary leader, smart businessman, and laser-focused executive as he focuses on exceeding functional company goals and objectives. Dane is a pleasure to work with and if more leaders led like he does, many companies would have fewer people issues, business challenges and higher customer retention rates.
Dane Donaldson worked with me for two years while at PictureTel. He was my customer services VP for the Americas, responsible for hundreds of customers representing 600 million in revenue. Dane’s consistent high standard of professionalism was a huge contribution to our success at PictureTel. He was both keen on listening to customer’s true issues, finding fast and effective solutions to their requests and providing a voice of the customer at our executive meetings. Any and all difficult or long standing customer issues we gave to Dane to resolve which he accomplished fairly, 100% of the time. Dane’s exceptional relationship with customers also allowed us to enjoy a very high retention/renewal rate and relative ease at collections. I found Dane to be in full command of what our offering was, an effective leader of his team, and possibly most importantly a valued advisor to me.
Dane represents the qualities I look for when evaluating the strength of a company’s senior management. He makes efficient decisions, collecting the required facts from his staff, evaluating risk, and then acting quickly. He holds himself and his staff personally responsible promoting accountability throughout his organization. He was a solid coach lending me his experience when pertinent but never let that get to the point of making decisions for me.
Outside of his management style Dane also has a dynamic personality that can literally transform an organization. To this day there are people that worked with Dane who will ask you how your day was and heaven help you if you respond with anything less than great. For a lesser response will lead to a 15 minute interrogation about why. Dane created that atmosphere settling for nothing less than a work environment where nobody settled for average. It did not matter who you were in the organization he would stop and listen to your problem then find somebody to address it. It was ok to have a bad day but you better have a good reason. An interesting by product was people stopped making a huge deal of trivial issues and focused on real problems because nobody wanted to have to explain to Dane that they were having a bad day because their co-worker got the cube they wanted.
One of the lessons I learned early on in my career was not to pick a job, pick your boss and your team; it is advice that has done well for me. Not only would I enjoy working with Dane again, I would give significantly more consideration to any opportunity in an organization Dane is part of.