Linda Dausend enjoys bringing out the best in others. So it’s not surprising that she once took on the challenge of directing a group of high school madrigal singers who had lost confidence in themselves.
She transformed them into a polished ensemble that won consecutive state awards. Along the way, she learned several lessons that also helped her as an HR professional and now as a consultant.
First, get everyone at your organization working from the same sheet of music.
“When everyone knows the part they play, and we help them recognize that it’s about the blend—not about any one individual—we can accomplish beautiful results,” Dausend says.
Second, believe the best about people, and they will deliver their best. By helping people build their skills and encouraging them, they will rise to the occasion, she says.
Finally, eliminate any obstacles to your team’s success. “We need to identify how we can best support our employees and teams and cut through the barriers that get in the way by creating partnerships across the organization,” she says.
Dausend’s ability to inspire harmony has also helped her in her role as director-elect of the Arizona State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, which she joined after moving to the state five years ago, and as past director of the Indiana State Council.
What are you passionate about?
Helping people see their own potential by letting them discover it for themselves. I just ask a bunch of questions, listen and ask more questions. People have the answers within them. It’s so exciting to see the realization hit and what actions they take afterward.
What’s your favorite business book?
Getting Naked (Jossey-Bass, 2010) by Patrick Lencioni. I believe in this philosophy of creating client loyalty by being vulnerable.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
I sing and perform in musical theater and play the flute in orchestras and bands. I just had a virtual karaoke party for my birthday. I also foster at-risk dogs and love to hike, swim, boat and travel—most recently to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Photograph by Anjeanette Photography