1. CEO story: Small changes can make a big difference
We coached a CEO who had a team of relatively new senior executives. His goal was to give his team significant development opportunities. He also wanted to be viewed as a coach and advisor. He was stunned to get feedback from his executive team that indicated they did not think they were being developed.
Upon exploring the issue we discovered the CEO’s “pattern” of making development assignments was missing a few vital factors. He didn’t call it a development opportunity, he didn’t mention his success criteria and he didn’t set up an ongoing support structure for the individual to have access to him for coaching and guidance. Once the CEO realized that his intentions and actions were out of alignment, we devised a development conversation and ongoing support structure for him to use each time he presented a development opportunity to a staff member. In each weekly progress meeting, he included the question: “What are you learning?”. He also shared his development philosophy and structure at a staff meeting and encouraged his staff to use it in developing their own teams.
Development has now become a visible and important factor in the relationship this CEO has with his staff. The bonus is that his model is spreading through this organization, just as the CEO had always intended.
2. VP Story: Leadership style counts
We coached a VP who was totally dedicated to supporting his employees. However, his style of communicating his expectations and guidance was a complete contradiction. What the employees saw was an explosive, on edge leader who managed to create distance rather than supportive relationships in and outside of their department. This person was “unconscious” to his own leadership style. He had confused being passionate about getting results with having a shouting match with anyone who got in his way. Through a 6 month coaching program, this individual received feedback & personalized coaching to develop a model of the leader he needed and wanted to be and “practice lessons’ in how to become that kind of a leader.
Feedback collected at the end of the 6 months indicated that a remarkable shift in being able to work with this person was reported from both within and outside of his department .
3. Director integrates an acquisition
We coached a Director of a product group in a mid-sized Hi-Tech company whose challenge was to integrate a small, newly acquired start-up company into his long established product group. We worked with him to develop an “integration roadmap” based on our New Leader Installation Process.
Although this Director originally felt there wasn’t “time” to implement an integration strategy. He quickly realized that work wasn’t getting done because critical relationships had not been developed. Using the“integration roadmap” we developed, he saw how he could position the integration activities to actually support getting the work done.
By acknowledging the “integration phase” required before a merger and acquisition can be successful, this Director invested time upfront setting the foundation for communication and trust. As a result, he discovered some amazing assumptions held by both the new and established product groups that could have seriously hindered productivity had they not been surfaced and addressed upfront.