Hyde: Good leaders surround themselves with smart people
story and photo by Linda Kaufenberg
The first speaker in the 2010 Fall 360 Leadership Series was Chuck Hyde, the newly promoted CEO of the Soderquist Center. Hyde has served as the organization’s chief operating officer for the past two years.
The 360 Leadership Series was created a year ago by a group of John Brown University graduate alumni whose mission is to provide professional development, networking opportunities and spiritual growth for Arkansas River Valley professionals.
Workplace and organization ethics are stressed at The Soderquist Center, located on the campus of John Brown University in Siloam Springs.
“Chuck has done excellent work serving as the COO during the past two years and this promotion recognizes his faithful and outstanding leadership at The Center,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president.
As the center’s CEO, Hyde is responsible for providing direct leadership in all areas of the Center including execution of vision and strategy, performance to budget, all human and capital resources, and long-term sustainability of the organization.
Hyde earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1992 and his master’s in business administration from John Brown University in 2008.
To begin his talk, Hyde explained that The Soderquist Center believes values matter and there are values in teams. To talk about a tried and sometimes tired subject, teamwork, he enlisted the audience’s participation.
On each table there was an envelope, and Hyde asked a person at each table to open the envelope and distribute the photographs inside the envelope to everyone at the table. Given about five minutes to look at the photo, each table was to reach a consensus about the photo. Then as photos were revealed on the projector, the tables told their perspective of their photo.
It turned out that all photos were of the Taj Mahal taken at different angles and range.
"This demonstration illustrates that as teams and groups we look at things from different perspectives," explained Hyde. "When we look at a problem or solution from other perspectives, our ideas are richer. Where we often make a mistake is that we sometimes talk about our ideas rather then listen to the ideas of others."
Hyde then shared his idea of some memorable teams — 1980 Olympics USA hockey team, Abraham Lincoln’s Cabinet and The Big 3 (Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt).
"What makes them memorable?" asked Hyde.
He talked about Lincoln’s cabinet saying they did not all agree. His rivals were more educated and more known than he was so he put them on his cabinet, surrounding himself with people who were smarter than he was.
"Most leaders think they must have all the answers," noted Hyde. "Leaders are responsible for creating culture. Do your team members tell you what they think or do they tell you what they think you want to hear?"
To have successful teamwork, Hyde had four suggestions:
• Get a better or the whole picture through multiple perspectives.
• Surround yourself with smart people.
• Achieve unfiltered dialogue.
• Encourage innovation.
The 360 Series was held at the new Phoenix Expo Center, as will the other scheduled events.
"The venue for the fall events was changed this year to the Phoenix Expo Center providing more parking, room and food for the attendees," said Faye Dancer, member of the 360 Leadership Series Board.
The Oct. 7 speaker will be Doug Babb, CEO of Cooper Clinic.