Doug Kling on Destinations and Transitions of Leadership



Doug Kling on Destinations and Transitions of Leadership


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LONGWOOD, FL - Everyone has heard the expression “Life is not a destination, it is a journey.”

As I approach the more senior aspects of new journeys in my business career and personal activities, I have done a lot of thinking on where I came from, where I have been, and where I am going. Many of us have focused on jobs, industry, family, and political issues over the last few decades. It can be difficult at times to separate who we are as individuals from who we are as executives, managers, or leaders.

Three aspects of self-growth continue to be prevalent in the industry: Lead to learn, network to grow, and share to build

A priority initiative for me is sharing my experiential equity in net value growth from the CPG, confectionery, dairy, juice, beverage, and produce industries. In these I have been involved at various levels with regard to management development, leadership, and decision making.

Given the mission of building for the future, I have transitioned into consulting, board memberships, and lecturing to share moments and experiences that will hopefully add value and new perspectives to the next generation of executives and global leaders.

As Doug Kling emphasizes, leading a team can and should always be a learning experience for the leader as well as the team members

Regardless of level or position, three aspects of self-growth continue to be prevalent: Lead to learn, network to grow, and share to build.

Leading a team can and should always be a learning experience for the leader as well as the team members. The most common driver, according to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is belonging. One learns a great deal about leadership from understanding the individual needs of the team and their perspectives as there is a drive for common priorities and goals.

Sharing key priorities, strengths, weaknesses, and concerns allows management teams and organizations to build stronger initiatives and net value through a realized common ground

Networking by its very nature is growing from a pure sales standpoint. However, many managers and senior-level executives miss the opportunity to dive into the subsets of networking. It is not just about what can be built for a client, but what you can learn from other perspectives for self-growth and self-awareness. Or, to quote Maslow, “self-actualization in driving stronger abilities to listen, share, and communicate.”

Sharing key priorities, strengths, weaknesses, and concerns allows management teams and organizations to build stronger initiatives and net value through a realized common ground. In many organizations, individual goals can at times overshadow a team’s purpose. By clearly sharing a common ground or purpose, responsibility is not only implied but expected. In many organizations, an individual or department’s purpose can conflict with a company’s larger objective. Sharing to grow by being transparent with all teams at the outset of a project or quarterly objective, regardless of conflicting arguments, has always allowed upper management to right the ship in stormy waters.

As leaders over time have said: Carpe Diem—seize the day!


Doug Kling, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, Kling Strategic Partners LLCDoug Kling, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, Kling Strategic Partners LLC

Mr. Kling is an experienced executive leader who has been involved both on a board and senior management level with Cadbury Schweppes, Johanna Foods, Life Savers Inc., and other fortune 500 consumer products companies, institutional associations, and government agencies on a national and global level for over 35 years. He just completed four years on the Board of Directors of the United Fresh Produce Association and served on the Fresh Summit Advisory Board of the Produce Marketing Association. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Black Gold Farms, one of the largest potato farming operations in North America, and is President and Chief Executive Officer of Kling Strategic Partners LLC., a global strategic development partnership working primarily with companies in the food, CPG, and agricultural industries.

Mr. Kling holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida; completed MBA studies in marketing management at Pace University in New York City; post-graduate work in Strategic Marketing at the Harvard Graduate School of Business; and post-graduate work in negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Kling Strategic Partners LLC



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