Success Habits of MPR President: Duchesne Drew

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) found their President, Duchesne Drew, by way of some early talent scout who admired his savvy as a journalist – and also saw his talent as a leader. Duchesne (pronounced De-Shawn) was the speaker at the 92ndepisode of the Good Leadership Breakfast Series last Friday, September 17, 2021.

He shared how he grew up in New York and migrated to the Midwest for journalism school at Northwestern University in Chicago. He landed the job as President of MPR after several stimulating jobs as a journalist at the Star Tribune, an earlier run at MPR, and the Dallas Morning News.

Along the way, he emulated leaders who embraced an intensely personal style of leadership, anchored in a structured, repeatable method of maintaining alignment on teams. He shared three Success Habits identified by members of his executive team. Success Habits are something leaders have learned to repeat over and over in their leadership because it really works:

  1. Bi-weekly one on one meetings, with structured agendas, organized around the vision, and goals. “I believe its important to show individual interest in the people important to our success, and to remind them that I’m paying attention to their goals. Because that helps us be invested in one another’s success.”
  2. “Outside-In” stakeholder perspective to measure success. Too many older institutional organizations (like MPR) lose sight of what’s really most important as they become inwardly focused. “We are constantly collecting data on who is listening, participating, and who is not. We are intent on winning on the external scorecard – if we do that, we are succeeding as a team.
  3. Requiring “Equal Time” in team meetings. We learned the opposite of equal time is one or two loud voices who dominate every discussion, while some are allowed to sit silently. That’s not good for team performance. “We make sure everyone weighs in on important discussions – especially those that are out of our particular areas of expertise. We need to know how everyone is seeing and thinking about our challenges. And that’s also one of the ways we a guaranteed to have a diversity of thought in how we run MPR.”

After hosting 92 speakers who share their Success Habits, the one reoccurring trend is that none of the habits they share are unheard of. They are common-sense practices. And yet, as an executive coach, I’m continually amazed at how common sense, is seldom common practice. If you are not using the Success Habits articulated by Duchesne Drew, why not try them today?

Watch the Breakfast. Listen to the Podcast.

Paul Batz

Paul Batz is CEO and Founder of Good Leadership Enterprises. He is an inspirational leadership coach, best selling author and professional speaker. His Good Leadership blog is recognized as one of the top leadership posts in America today.