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7 Questions on Leadership with Dawkins Brown

Name: Dawkins Brown

Title: Executive Chairman

Organisation: Dawgen Global

Dr. Dawkins Brown stands as the Executive Chair of Dawgen Global, a versatile professional service conglomerate. He boasts an impressive Ph.D. in Accounting, Finance, and Management from Rushmore University.

With a rich experience spanning over two decades in Audit, Accounting, Taxation, Finance, and Management, Dr. Brown initiated his illustrious journey at Ernst & Young, a renowned "big four" firm. Here, he honed his skills in both local and international audits. Ascending rapidly in his career, he embraced the role of Senior Consultant before branching out to establish Dawgen.

As an influential figure in various esteemed associations, Dr. Brown is affiliated with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), American Planning Association (APA), American Finance Association (AFA), and the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

At the helm of Dawgen Global, Dr. Brown drives the strategic vision and ensures effective execution across its numerous entities. The firm, operating cohesively, offers a broad spectrum of services such as audit, accounting, tax, IT, risk management, HR, performance evaluation, M&A, corporate recovery, and advisory. Entrusted with auditing responsibilities for diverse industry players from manufacturing to service and distribution, Dr. Brown's leadership is unparalleled.

Outside his firm duties, Dr. Brown is revered as a top-tier lecturer on subjects like Financial Strategy, Audit, International Financial Reporting Standards, and Taxation at prominent tertiary institutions in Jamaica.

Key Expertise:

• Audits & Accounting

• Taxation & Strategic Tax Planning

• Business Valuation & Development

• Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Recovery

• Business Coaching & Insolvency Turnaround

• Strategic Marketing & Review Engagement

• Forensic Audit.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Dawkins's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

As the executive chairman of Dawgen Global, some of the most challenging aspects of leadership involve a mix of strategic decision-making, team management, and industry-specific challenges. These include:

1. Strategic Decision Making: As a leader, I am responsible for making decisions that can have a long-term impact on the organization. This includes navigating market changes, adapting to technological advancements, and setting the strategic direction of the company.

2. Maintaining Organizational Vision and Culture: Ensuring that the organization’s vision and culture are preserved and communicated effectively, especially during times of growth or change, can be a significant challenge.

3. Balancing Stakeholder Interests: Balancing the needs and expectations of various stakeholders, including employees, clients, investors, and regulatory bodies, requires a nuanced approach and can be quite challenging.

4. Adapting to Market and Technological Changes: Keeping up with rapid changes in my industry, especially in terms of technology and market dynamics, and ensuring that my organization remains competitive and innovative.

5. Leading Through Uncertainty: Navigating the organization through periods of uncertainty, whether due to economic fluctuations, regulatory changes, or unexpected crises, requires resilience and adaptability.

6. Talent Management and Development: Attracting, retaining, and developing top talent, and ensuring that the team is motivated, skilled, and aligned with the company's goals.

7. Ensuring Ethical and Sustainable Practices: Upholding high standards of ethics and sustainability in all aspects of the business, especially in a global context where these issues are increasingly important to consumers and regulators.

8. Effective Communication: Communicating effectively with different groups, from employees to shareholders, and ensuring that my message is clear and consistent across various channels and cultural contexts.

9. Personal Work-Life Balance: Maintaining a balance between my professional responsibilities and personal life, ensuring that neither is neglected.

10. Continuous Learning and Personal Development: Keeping myself educated and informed about new leadership strategies, industry trends, and other relevant knowledge to stay effective in my role.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

My leadership journey was gradual and reflective. It started with a deep interest in my field, leading to years of dedication and hard work. Along the way, I embraced challenges, and consistently aimed to improve myself and support my team. It wasn't a single moment, but a culmination of experiences and the trust of my colleagues that led me to this role.

As I gained experience and honed my skills, I started taking on more responsibilities. I always aimed to be a supportive colleague, which eventually led to my peers and superiors seeing me as someone who could lead the team.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

As the Executive Chairman of Dawgen Global, my daily routine is a harmonious mix of rigorous professional commitments and personal self-care. My mornings begin early with a period dedicated to mindfulness, setting a positive tone for the day. This is followed by a strategic overview of the day's goals. The morning hours are earmarked for concentrated work on strategic initiatives and concise interactions with my team. Afternoons are allocated for meetings and collaborative endeavors. Throughout the day, I consciously integrate moments for nurturing my soul with uplifting thoughts, maintaining a well-balanced routine that not only enhances my productivity in my professional sphere but also enriches my wellbeing

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Recently, I've been reminded of the crucial importance of adaptability in leadership. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and the past three (3) years have underscored the need to remain agile and responsive to unforeseen challenges. I've learned that while having a clear vision and a strong strategy is vital, the ability to pivot and adapt to changing circumstances is equally important. This lesson came into sharp focus during a recent project where unexpected market shifts required us to revise our approach swiftly. It highlighted the value of being open to change, listening to feedback from both the market and our team, and being willing to make necessary adjustments. This experience reinforced my belief that a leader must be a lifelong learner, always ready to assimilate new insights and apply them to guide their team through both steady and turbulent times.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

As the Executive Chairman of Dawgen Global, I've always placed a high premium on continuous learning and personal development, which is reflected in my active Kindle Amazon subscription where I've amassed over 1,100 titles in the last 15 years. Among this extensive collection, one book that has profoundly influenced my approach to leadership is 'Good to Great' by Jim Collins.

This book delves into why some companies leap to greatness while others don't. It resonated with me deeply, particularly the concept of 'Level 5 Leadership' – a blend of personal humility and professional will. This concept shifted my perspective on leadership from being just about charismatic authority to being about empowering and inspiring others through a balance of humility and strong resolve.

I first encountered this book at a pivotal moment in my career, when I was grappling with scaling our company's operations while maintaining our core values. 'Good to Great' provided me not just with insights but with a framework to assess and improve our organizational strategies and leadership styles. It reinforced the idea that great leadership isn't just about driving success, but about nurturing a sustainable and ethical approach to achieving it. This book's lessons have been instrumental in shaping the leader I am today, guiding me to lead Dawgen Global with a blend of humility, determination, and a focus on long-term excellence.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

If I were to offer just one piece of advice to a young leader, it would be this: Embrace the power of active listening. In my journey as the Executive Chairman of Dawgen Global, I've learned that effective leadership is as much about listening as it is about directing. Active listening goes beyond merely hearing words; it involves understanding the underlying sentiments, concerns, and aspirations of your team. It enables you to make more informed decisions, build stronger relationships, and foster a culture of mutual respect and collaboration. Remember, the insights you gain from listening can be as valuable as the guidance you give. By honing this skill, you'll not only enhance your leadership capabilities but also create an environment where every voice feels valued and every team member is empowered to contribute their best

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

One meaningful story from my time as the leader of Dawgen Global that stands out involves a significant turnaround project we undertook for a client a few years ago. They were faced with a challenging situation in one of their key departments, which was underperforming and struggling with low team morale. Recognizing the potential of the team, I decided to take a hands-on approach to understand the root causes.

I spent time with the team, engaging in open dialogues and listening sessions to gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand. This approach revealed that while the team had the skills, they lacked clear direction and felt disconnected from the company’s broader goals.

We took immediate steps to realign the team’s objectives with their corporate vision, implemented regular and transparent communication channels, and invested in targeted training programs. More importantly, we established a culture of recognition, where team members’ contributions were acknowledged and celebrated.

The transformation was remarkable. Within a year, not only did the department's performance significantly improve, but it also became one of the most innovative and collaborative units in the company. This experience was a powerful reminder of the impact of empathetic leadership and the value of investing time and resources in understanding and developing teams. It reinforced my belief that the heart of a company lies in its people, and as leaders, our role is to nurture and empower them to achieve their best

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