Getting To Know Don Wickelgren

Juvy Ann Magbanua
March 8, 2016

Every company needs a leader – a motivator inspires his team to accomplish their tasks and to be better each day in providing their services to their clients. He is the person who brings out the best in every employee to be successful on their own. He understands that the satisfaction of his employees can impact the growth of his business.

This was the impression that gathered when I got to know Donald Wickelgren, Xilium’s very own co-founder. Getting to know him gave me an idea of what his beliefs are regarding our success as virtual assistants and what that does for the success of the company. Personally, I never thought I would get a chance to meet him. I even doubted my ability to interact with him. Then, it turned out that talking to him was not at all intimidating, but was more of a ‘quality time’.

Getting to know him made me realize what an ideal leader he is:

Don urges you to go out of your comfort zone.

Your comfort zone is the best place for you. It is where you feel at ease, where you get to do things which are familiar, and where you are never anxious. But, does it push you to get to the next level? This made me realize that for me to grow, I should never back down to new opportunities. Like now, that I am given a new role at work with bigger responsibilities is when I should be braver than ever. I resolve to always remember Don’s words, “Learning starts out of my comfort zone.”

Don shows genuine positivity and enthusiasm about your potentials.

His positivity influences all of us. Don has a way of making you feel that you are the right person for a role. If I think I cannot do the job, that thought will just vanish because he genuinely explains what potentials he sees in you. At the end of the day, you realize that you already got the key to grow as a professional – that you have the skills and the attitude to get you going.

Don empowers all of us.

He doesn’t feel the need to oversee or check how we are doing. Rather, he gives us the freedom to own our actions. He motivates every virtual assistant to learn the benefits of collaborating with one another. Being proactive at work is key because creative ideas keep coming when there are more people working on a project.

This also discourages ‘silos’ – the tendency of a small group to refrain from getting along with the rest of the team and indeed hinder an open communication. Keep collaborating. Asking every employee’s feedback or letting them contribute their own input on a project, as Don says, makes everyone feel that their input has got value.

Don promotes career and personal development among employees.

For starters, we are assigned to areas familiar to us, then gradually we are introduced to new areas where we can learn news skills and widen our expertise. We are encouraged to own our responsibilities and mistakes, but we are allowed to have the flexibility of how to handle them. We get to understand the company by large and realize the value of our work – how our work as virtual assistants can help mitigate our clients daily things-to-do.

And, his trust for everyone of us is one big factor that drives us to strive for excellence in our every endeavor. Failure may arise, but with his support,  we will stand again to make up and improve ourselves. “Fail, but fail quickly.” – Donald Wickelgren


Juvy is Xilium's driven client services officer who always aims to end the workday productive. She's an active participant in many of the company's activities and she never fails to lend a hand whenever needed.