What We Learned From Kirk Dando and His New Book

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Local leadership and growth expert Kirk Dando spoke to a full room of business leaders and mangers last night at New Belgium Brewing Co’s community room. With a voice that filled the room without a microphone, Kirk discussed what motivated him to write the book in the first place. After almost 20 years of experience, he had reached a tipping point. “We’re full of knowledge, we don’t need any more knowledge. What we need is a way to practically apply that knowledge.” Kirk talks about the challenges he faced during his own experience as a C-level executive for a billion dollar company – “We faced challenges. I was surround by coaches and executives that gave me advice, but trying to apply that advice was like wrestling a ghost.” The book, Predictive Leadership, seeks to address that issue by promising a toolkit for looking objectively at any business as it passes the lean start-up phase, and transitions into the getting serious growth phase.

The pivot point for most businesses that takes them past start-up phase to hyper-growth phase is a large investment. Typically investment goes into production, to further spur the money-making proposition that started it all in the first place. With increased production, sales have room to grow, and revenues sky-rocket. But Dando addresses a key mistake that many companies make as they launch into the stratosphere – they forget the down-to-earth values that brought them to success in the first place. And we believe that in marketing, this is key. Your core values constitute what your brand is all about. The values are the intrinsic vow you are making to your consumers. When you espouse your sustainability practices or your insistence on high quality, your consumers hear you and endorse those values by purchasing your product and service. When your company fails to deliver what your brand promises, the cultural backlash can be swift and brutal, especially given the avenues of social media. Your marketing strategy should share these values with your consumers and audience, but that’s only half of the puzzle. Your delivery of core values constitutes you holding up your end of the bargain, your response to the trust your consumers place in you. Expectations of brands and companies are higher than ever – it’s no longer enough to merely promise a product that will do what you say it will. Your product or service needs to change the world, even if only in a small way.

The Tattered Cover Bookstore out of Denver sold books at the event, and New Belgium Brewing Co. provided beer.