Recent Posts by Patty Darke

Four Types of Effective Managers Today

I had a discussion with a client recently regarding managing the different generations relative to change.  We acknowledged that with the rapid onslaught of technology we are faced with, individuals are charged with being change agents and the consequences of not keeping up can result in replacement.  The question then became “Has the management style within the organization changed and adapted to the workforce?”  This is a great question for your leaders.   

These are four types of managers that are very effective today.

1.  Coaching Managers are participatory managersthat understand how to engage and motivate new and existing employees, they have a real passion for it. They will actively develop the people that work for them, through professional growth and responsibility.  There is a strong bond that emerges between this type of manager and the team.

2. Visionary Managers see a clear vision and purpose and articulate it to the team.  Once the team “buys in” and strategy is set, there is usually a good deal of autonomy for team members. And the self- directed work is what the team values working for this type of manager.    

3.  Transformational Managers are the innovators and understand how to translate the vision into action for the team.  They can challenge and motivate the team by tapping into potential, leading by example and managing individually, pushing people to continually stretch and grow while the manager is at their side.

4.  Democratic Managers involve their direct reports heavily in the decision making process because they realize it will make them feel valued, boost the team morale and productivity.  It will usually make it easier for everyone to buy into the team vision since they built the plan together.  The manager will still have the end decision since it is key to remember that the process can become delayed otherwise. 

There are managers out there today that are still operating as intimidating, autocratic, withdrawn, dictator- type, micromanagers and let’s face it… they just plain should not be managing people.  Tactics like these might produce short term results but will not retain performers today.  In fact, they lead to unengaged employees that are seeking the next opportunity.  The workforce is expected to flex with change and managers need to change with the workforce. 

Patricia Darke, RCC™                                                                                                                                                           

Darke & Associates

Patricia Darke, Registered Corporate Coach™ is the owner of Darke & Associates and author of DNA Professional Leadership Development Program™.  She is a Certified Partner for PXT Select™, Everything DiSC™, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ and a member of SHRM™ and the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches™.  Contact her at or 612.866.0692 or visit

5 Steps to Improve Your Selection Process Today!

  1. Create a job description with realistic requirements. Bring the focus of the job onto the person, rather than just the experience. Some positions require technical skill or competency and these are not to be underestimated, however, be sure to also focus on connecting the job around skills like communication, problem solving and the ability...
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Four Ways to Increase Your High Potentials

Four Ways to Increase Your High Potentials

  1. Think about high potential versus high performer. Take a step back and approach it from the long view.  Instead of looking at who will be your next VP, take it one step at a time and decide who has promotion potential.  Take an assessment of your pipeline and look at all positions and “scout” people that have the capacity to step up to a management or leadership level job in your organization.  Create an organization where the opportunities for advancement are equitable and fair for all.
  2. Be unbiased in your selection process. In the past, high potentials have been identified by the Manager.  What could be the problem with this?  Subjective judgement.  Instead use data from resources such as assessments to help uncover the high potential people.  When used along with a clear definition of high potential, these will help uncover people that may have gone unnoticed in larger organizations. An added plus, the right assessment will have built in coaching tools to help the manager/leader guide the potential right from the start of any new job.
  3. Make the high potential program personal and applicable. Engage your high potential from the moment of onboarding them into the new program/position by involving them in learning about their own leadership skill set. I use two tools here, PXT Select Leadership Report™ and the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders™ since research suggests that learning leadership skills is more critical than learning about them - this is called “active learning”.  High potential learners are fast learners so the learning should be a mix of virtual or classroom and on the job training.  What is essential is that all of this is directly applicable to the job.  Adult learners like action-based learning and peer based discussions that involve real world business challenges.
  4. Instill coaching into your culture. Organizations that use coaching report increased productivity, retention and engagement.  They also promote more leaders from within and are more likely to have a talent pipeline.  Managers and Leaders do not automatically become good coaches, they need the resources and tools to coach others.  As stated above, a good assessment will deliver a robust coaching report for each employee and a Certified Coach can help your organization instill a coaching plan for your Managers and Leaders.

Take a step back and think about your high potential program in a new and different way.  Take the wide view of your people, what they bring to the organization and consider how you might look at them with fresh eyes.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

Patricia Darke, Registered Corporate Coach™ is the owner of Darke & Associates and author of DNA Professional Leadership Development Program™.  She is a Certified Partner for PXT Select™, Everything DiSC™, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ and a member of SHRM™.  Contact her at or 612.866.0692.

6 Major Factors Affecting Organizational Culture

Employees discuss organizational culture in business Organizational culture affects each of us every day, yet it is intangible and difficult to define. Understanding this component of a workplace requires taking a step back and analyzing the different factors affecting organizational culture on a...
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