Interview with Katherine Dyke, Integrated Communications Strategist for the University of South Carolina
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin
For Katherine, life and especially leadership is all about being a constant work in progress. She is a thinker in every way and finds it beneficial to take the time – and give her team the time – to always learn:refine, learn:refine, learn:refine. Katherine’s outlook is highly inspirational and has helped her to demonstrate that her evolutionary approach brings her great success in every role she undertakes.
Katherine Dyke had an early love for architecture and made her way to Yale University to become a powerful female architect. Along the way though, her attitude of learn:refine taught her that her passion was less in the actual design of buildings, and more in the storytelling and communication of the creative ideas.
So, she shifted her path, continued her pursuit, and become an Administrative Assistant and quickly promoted to Communications Coordinator at Deborah Berke Partners – a female owned and operated architectural firm in New York City. Being empowered by Deborah’s full leadership style that encompassed strength, generosity, power and more, Katherine continued to learn:refine and stepped up to take on even more responsibility by demonstrating her creative communication skills ultimately shifting her into marketing, PR and business development for the firm.
Katherine learned:refined along the way, continually developing her leadership style and assessing what really good leadership means. For Katherine, it is all about the idea of being a complex/contradictory leader.
What is a complex/contradictory leader?
“It's a strong leader – someone who speaks forcefully and stands in a natural power pose, but is also kind and generous, open and flexible, willing to aide and step down to let others take the spot light. Leaders don't have to be one way; they don't have to just be firm or just be ambitious. They can be really complicated people and fully rounded people.” They are a true blend of power, strength, generosity, kindness, confidence and compassion. They are complex and contradictory in their own right – but they are the best kind of leader.
And that is exactly what Katherine has become.
Through more learning:refining, Katherine has evolved her leadership style and has focused on three key values:
Clear communication with the firm belief that “if you start at the same place you have a better chance of ending up at the same place”
Divergent thinking with a focus on trial and error, empowerment, and especially in enabling
Trust and empowering people to be their very best and do their very best
And Katherine demonstrates those values and her strong leadership in her newest role as the Integrated Communications Specialist at the University of South Carolina.
Katherine continues her learn:refine philosophy by supporting young professionals with the power of mentorship.
To each of them, Katherine suggests:
“Go do whatever that thing is that you gravitate towards but pay attention along the way to what exactly it is that is exciting you – and once you know what that is, run after that piece alone.”
“Find your inner confidence that sits right next to your fear. Face it head on and it will allow you to do whatever you want to do in whatever direction you want to go. Stand there and own it and then go on and do great things.”
It is clear that Katherine will also continue to go on and do great things as she lives her learn:refine philosophy every day – and will become an even stronger complex/contradictory leader taking the communications world by the horns. The WeInspireWe community is excited to feature her here as an Inspirational Leader – and we can’t wait to see what’s next for Katherine!