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Rod Young’s Keys to Cultivating Collaboration

Last Friday marked a special occasion as we gathered for our 107th Good Leadership Breakfast, featuring Rod Young, CEO of Delta Dental of MN. It was an energizing return to the Metropolitan Ballroom, our first time back since November. As we dive into this early spring season, we are Celebrating the Magic of Managers, and Rod couldn’t have been a more fitting leader to kickstart this series.  

Rod embodies a collaborative, shoulder-to-shoulder leadership style which resonates deeply with our belief that managers are the backbone of thriving organizations. “Managers are co-owners of the success of the organization, and the source of reliability and dependability,” Rod emphasized. “I truly believe in the idea that you should treat everyone the way you want to be treated. It may sound simple, but it’s important in order to build healthy collaboration.”  

Success Habits – the Keys to Delta Dental Success

With every Good Leadership Breakfast speaker, we interview a few of their direct reports to identify their leader’s success habits. A success habit is something a leader repeats over and over, because it really works. On the stage, Rod and I discussed the success habits that contribute to his success in collaboratively leading teams. 

  1. Treat employees like real people first.  
  1. Spend time listening to diverse perspectives before speaking. 
  1. Consistently promote the importance of team – together we can.  

Rod’s comments illustrated the beauty of the teams of teams environment he cultivates. “I don’t refer to myself as the CEO internally, I refer to myself as the Team Captain; I sign all my emails that way. I want people to know that I will be there right alongside them, helping move things that need to be moved.”  

Join us for our next Good Leadership Breakfast, with Jeff Augustin, VP of Global Business Services at Merck. Get your tickets here.  

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