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7 Questions on Leadership with Scott CVan Dyke

Name: Scott CVan Dyke

Title: CEO

Organisation: Visual Assets Management Solutions ...aka VAMS

Only VAMS provides an end-to-end solution for your complete photographic and video assets. Your photo library will be there for you and your team wherever and whenever you need it: up-to-date and consistent with your design standards and market positioning.

Only VAMS provides a seamless, cost-effective solution to capturing and managing your photographic and video library, allowing you and your team to create compelling content that captures your target customer needs.

Only VAMS handles everything: scheduling photo and video shoots using its expert photographers, handling all onsite arrangements and contacts, creating (or aligning with) your style guide, travel, and posting files to one fully accessible location. VAMS even covers all insurance requirements as well as model and property releases. VAMS can work on a predetermined schedule for the frequency with which you and your organization want your photo assets refreshed and updated.

Only VAMS can reduce the time and expense of all aspects of administering your photographic asset library. Eliminate the needless distraction preventing you and your team from applying expertise on the marketing activities that matter most for attracting and retaining customers.

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

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


Jonno White

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

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership for me has been striking the right balance between delegation and hands-on involvement. It's essential to trust your team and empower them to take ownership of their responsibilities, but it's equally crucial to know when to step in and provide guidance or take a more active role in decision-making. Additionally, understanding the diverse personalities and motivations of team members and ensuring that everyone feels valued and heard can be a complex task. As a leader, I continually strive to foster an environment where open communication is encouraged and individuals feel empowered to share their ideas and concerns.

I'm a big fan of Myers-Briggs.

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

In my early career, while serving as a sales representative in Los Angeles at the age of 20, I was employed by Venture Sales, a fledgling enterprise specializing in representing audio electronics to a diverse clientele—from major retail chains to independent stores and exporters. Through diligent effort, I identified a prominent exporter in downtown Los Angeles, which became a significant revenue source. My enthusiasm soared, and shortly after that, I discovered another lucrative client in Cerritos, CA.

However, what initially appeared as a rewarding endeavor turned challenging when the company owners deemed this high-revenue account a “house account.” This strategic shift, driven by a desire to maximize their profit margins by reducing my commission, became a pivotal moment in my professional journey. Resolute in my decision not to let others dictate my career trajectory, I chose to pivot. I returned to academia and transitioned into architectural and interior photography—a move that not only was fulfilling but also paved the way for the inception of VAMS.

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

My mornings begin early, often at 4 a.m. This time of the hour offers me an invaluable opportunity to write, serving as a cathartic exercise to declutter my mind. Following this, I engage in an Orange Theory fitness class, a dedicated hour where I'm free from interruptions, allowing me to center myself. Before immersing myself in the day's business activities, I set aside 10 minutes for meditation, preparing me mentally for the challenges ahead. By the afternoon, the pace usually slows as most of my clients operate on the East Coast.

Once I return home, I consciously avoid work-related emails. In a pressing matter, my colleagues and clients know to reach out via phone. My true solace, however, is found in the kitchen. When not on the road, I relish the act of cooking, a passion I indulge in 5-6 times a week. While travel is frequent in my profession, dining out has lost the allure it once held in my younger years. Indeed, I have grown to cherish the comforts of home. My day typically concludes by 8:30 or 9 p.m., granting me 7 hours of rest. Even when traveling, particularly to the East Coast, I adhere to this regimen. It's a routine tailored to my well-being and productivity.

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

It's good to remember that none of us have all the answers. That's why I team up with some of the brightest people around me. When I ask a question, I'm genuinely all ears for what they have to share.

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?

The Power of Focus- Book by Mark Victor Hansen

The lack of focus is a time-eater. The best thing I took away from this book was that I always place my keys in the same place. I haven’t spent 5 minutes looking for my keys in the last 25 years. Do the math.

Another one I just read was Atomic Habits-By James Clear.

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

Believe in yourself because most won't. If you have passion and drive, find those people and surround yourself with them.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I had an early mentor tell me, "This is your movie/script (life), whatever. If you don't like it, then re-write it." Very Hollywood. That is still true today.

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

I’m not sure it’s the most meaningful, but certainly, the most challenging decision I’ve ever had to make was to buy out my business partner. After 17 years together, we saw things differently and how to grow the company. Lots of sleepless nights, but in the end, it was the best for the company.

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