I am the Refuge Manager for the 30,000-acre Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. For the past eight years I have worked directly with Bob Donaldson on a variety of issues concerning a sewage force main which runs through part of the Refuge at InnerBairIsland. Bob has proven time and time again to be extremely efficient, professional, and comprehensive with the many different tasks our agencies collaborated with, such as right of ways, memorandums of understanding, site logistics, and coordination efforts with multiple contractors. He has a can-do attitude with a very unique set of problem-solving skills to work through any issue that may arise in a timely and communicative approach. It has been a pleasure to work with Bob and I highly recommend him.
I have worked with Bob Donaldson and under his guidance for 20 years. During these years I interacted frequently with him and depended on him. Bob is very goal oriented as well as a team player, and always easygoing. He is keenly devoted to his work, but being a real people person, he is also enjoyable to be around. He is well organized and thrives under adversity. Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration. No one is better at creating this environment than Bob. What I have learned from him is that as you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. He has taught many of us that other people’s ideas are often better than our own and that when we find a group of people who challenge and inspire us, spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life.
In his presentations Bob was smart, well prepared, and a very good communicator. He had the ability to measure his audience and stay on track with his delivery. Not too little or too much, but just right, taking questions then moving his presentation forward.
Bob’s capabilities and capacity to distill complex and challenging issues into systematic approaches to solutions is near genius. I can count on a single hand the number of people I have encountered with the ability that Bob brings to organizations and projects. Over the 25 years I have known Bob professionally, he has consistently achieved measurable improvements in staff development and productivity, team-focused direction, and success where success is hard to derive.
I’ve worked with Bob for more than 25 years on a wide array of efforts/projects ranging from public health emergencies to multi-year planning efforts. Inevitably, the successful completion of these projects required the collaboration of parties with vastly different agendas and definitions of success. Bob has displayed an unusual ability to assess the needs of the parties involved and craft a strategy for cooperation that will benefit everyone. He has a large tool box of strategies on how to get a team working together. I also want to mention that he is not content with just any collaborative outcome, he understands and pursues the right one — the best one for all parties involved. Bob commands respect in a room full of potential combatants without demanding it. He does his homework and comes with a plan that works. I don’t recall ever second guessing his methods or the outcome.
When you work with Bob Donaldson on a challenging, full-of-potential-pitfalls kind of project, you are in for one of the most rewarding professional achievements of your life. I have been working with Bob on complex infrastructure projects for nearly 20 years. He is a master at leading mission-oriented teams who respect, challenge, and support each other in working towards a common goal. For Bob, collaboration is not just a bunch of people sitting around a table making nice. Collaboration is work – hard work – real work. And the stakes for the outcome of the process are often very high. It is in this kind of environment that Bob thrives and excels. He produced a small “Guide to Collaborative Behaviors” for our team – this guide has become one of my “go to” resources in working with other clients who struggle with difficult team dynamics. It always works!
I have known Bob for over 12 years. Bob is an extremely trustworthy and ethical person. He has demonstrated a very steady and even character. He follows through on all projects in a timely manner and is very dependable. He has demonstrated the ability to work under a high pressure, fast paced environment while maintaining a good sense of humor. He is very comfortable and experienced talking with the board, making presentations and answering questions. I strongly believe that his work experience and character provides for the confidence you need in order to utilize Bob on any project.
I have had the pleasure of working with Bob Donaldson for more than 20 years on numerous issues and projects. During that time I developed an appreciation for Bob’s ability to successfully deliver on every project and honor every commitment. Bob uses a disciplined, thoughtful process for breaking down highly complex issues into more easily understood parts. He also has a talent for seeing a problem from the perspective of those on the other side of the table and is able to build trust and work effectively with people at every level of an organization. I came to enjoy working with Bob because I knew that at the end of the day any project or problem we were working on would be handled with integrity, professionalism and a sense of humor.
I had the honor and pleasure of working both for and with Bob Donaldson from 1986 until 2006. Bob brought qualities such as clarity, focus, objectivity and equitable treatment of those working for and with him on the teams he led. I learned a great deal from him about how to manage and lead. I was consistently impressed with his ability to navigate the complexities of multi-disciplinary projects involving lots of people with a wide variety of expertise while keeping the overall project on time and within budget parameters. As a Minister and spiritual leader, I have come to appreciate Bob’s more subtle qualities as well. Developing collaborative strategies requires “keeping one’s head while all about are losing theirs.” For many years I witnessed Bob’s remarkable ability to do just that.
Bob Donaldson combines many unique qualities into one powerful personality. He fosters strong team interactions by establishing clear lines of communication and a common understanding of chain of command. He keeps projects moving by focusing on the project objective, and identifying and removing impediments to progress. Bob builds teams of people with the necessary skills required for the assignment and he shares the credit with his collaborators. He provides an emotionally safe environment and encourages honest conversations. Bob mentors and coaches everyone he works with by sharing generously his good advice which he has in abundance.