A great manager requires three things, according to Randall Doll, Lead Faculty of Leadership and Management. The first is having the ability to provide a crystal clear set of goals, priorities and duties for those they are responsible for. Secondly, one must attempt to create a healthy, conducive work environment for all team members to be successful within. Finally, a great manager spends time every day building relationships with those they are responsible for. He refers to this as “relationship capital.”
“When a manager is not achieving pre-determined levels of performance it is many times related to a lack of connection with those they oversee,” he says. “Employees know when a manager cares, and when they sense that, they will follow them to the ends of the earth.”
Doll would know. He’s spent his career in leadership and management roles. Even while completing his bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University, he was busy working full time as a fitness center manager.
“I didn’t have time to attend graduation,” he says. “It was several months before I was able to go in and get my diploma.”
For the past 30 years, Doll has been involved in private industry as either an owner or manager of businesses in retail, manufacturing, land management and commercial properties. By the age of 30 he held management positions in Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo Corporation/Pizza Hut, located in New York and Wichita. It was during that time that Doll realized the value of earning his master’s degree.
“I realized the Fortune 500 world was getting more competitive,” he says. “Increasing my skill set, education and experience base became critically important.”
As Doll worked toward earning his M.A. in Business & Management from Webster University, located in St. Louis, Missouri, which he completed in 1995, he developed an interest in teaching. His instructors not being academics but practitioners left a lasting impression on him.
“They would work full time in their chosen profession and then teach part time, delivering their real world experience alongside standard textbook instruction,” he said.
Deciding to follow in the footsteps of his mentors, since 2005 Doll has stayed busy teaching courses in the business and leadership curriculums at Professional Studies while owning Doll Real Estate, LLC and serving as President & CEO of Capital Partners Group LLC; the latter of which is a training & development firm that works with small to mid-size businesses. He also recently finished serving as a board member for the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, a cabinet level agency appointed by the Governor. He currently serves on the national board of directors for American Ag Credit, which is the seventh largest agricultural lender in the nation, located in Santa Rosa, California. He even embarked on what he says was his biggest career risk when he successfully ran for the Butler County Commission, for which he served two terms from 1999 to 2007. All of his experiences, he says, give him the knowledge and "street cred" for teaching.
“I like teaching the graduate level courses in business as they allow me to bring in more of my business and political experiences to the classroom,” he says. “I think students appreciate and benefit from these real world applications.”
Doll plans to continue sharing his devotion for effective leadership and management in teaching courses such as BQM301, LEAD510 and BSAD490 where he believes he can train others to be successful leaders for the future. When he’s not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters at their ranch outside Wichita where they garden, hike, raise free range chickens and oversee their farm and ranch operations.