The Dakota Way – A Leadership Strategy

The Dakota Way – A Leadership Strategy


“Leadership – The Dakota Way invites seasoned leaders of strength, stamina, and character to mentor Millennial entrepreneurs and sales professionals to lead well in the midst of change and uncertainty.” 
Danita Bye ​​


​Seasoned Christian business leaders notice and feel concerned for the changes, shifts, and chaos happening in the world today. We think about and discuss with our friends and colleagues the mess the world is in, noting that character, virtue, and wisdom are often missing in the current political, sports, business, and education climates. As retirement looms, we worry about our succession strategies. What is our plan? Will it even work?


At some point, we determine “enough is enough.” We decide to stop talking about the over-whelming problems and decide to be part of the solution, on a personal, professional, corporate, and global level. Even with the conviction to be part of the change, it isn’t always clear what to do next.

Many of my clients have a practical, rubber-meets-the-road business crisis. Their Baby Boomer leadership, sales management, and sales teams are all retiring soon.  That’s not a problem.  The problem is that few Next Gen leaders possess the leadership and sales acumen to carry forward the business growth and succession strategies of seasoned leaders. What can we do to close the gap before it’s time to pass the baton?

Another challenge seasoned leaders face: It’s hard to let go. The meaning and purpose they experienced as they were growing their business and carving their niche in the world will soon be replaced by…what?  Some leaders fear they will become irrelevant. Some leaders fear they will be replaced by under-qualified young people. It’s natural to think about one’s legacy and it’s even okay to spend time on what it will look like.

Forward thinking business executives, however, see these times with a bit different perspective. They know they are reaching maximum impact and sense an incredible stewardship responsibility.  Fueled by their leadership wisdom, insight and discernment, they have the opportunity to train, teach and transform the next generation of emerging leaders, whether it’s at work or at home.  I think of Moses in the Bible. He spent a lifetime mentoring Joshua, until he finally felt comfortable passing the baton of leadership to him.

The Dakota Way, as a leadership strategy, calls seasoned leaders to be both intentional and proactive in meeting unsettling challenges. The Dakota Way creates a healthy, success-oriented culture that nurtures leaders of character to make an impact in our global world.

​​Growing up on the TTT Ranch in North Dakota, I strongly identify with the ten principles published by The Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership. I believe these are good guidelines not only for businesses, but also for any leader who values strength, stamina and character.

1.)    Live each day with courage.
2.)    Take pride in your work.
3.)    Always finish what you start.
4.)    Do what has to be done.
5.)    Be tough, but fair.
6.)    When you make a promise, keep it.
7.)    Ride for your brand.
8.)    Talk less and say more.
9.)    Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
10.)  Know where to draw the line.

The Dakota Way Leadership Question: Have you developed a growth or succession strategy?
What is the next step for you?

Dakota Way Leadership Lesson: Dakota Leaders have internal strength and capabilities to lead wisely even in the midst of chaos and rapid change

​​© Copyright Danita Bye, 2016

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