The initial brief from the CEO was to offer coaching to each board member of this global publishing company, with 3000 staff around the world. The aim was to provide them with ongoing personal support at a level of intensity the CEO could not make available and prepare them for the challenges ahead. After a successful year working with the 6 main board members on a one to one basis, the company decided to offer the coaching programme to a wider audience. A further 6 senior executives reporting to the board embarked on the coaching programme with a view to preparing them for board directorships.
The Strategic Programmes Director, who had no direct reports, had a specific challenge. He was trying to roll out new disciplines to a number of key stakeholders and during the first coaching session it became clear that his role required considerable influencing skills. Together the coach and coachee unpicked 'influencing' and with the help of a 360 survey, the coachees key challenges emerged. He needed to identify leadership styles he could use and when best to deploy each style with most impact; become more assertive than he was currently; develop a clear strategy for dealing with senior colleagues, and be explicit about asking for their commitment.
Working together over a period of a year the coach and the coachee developed strategies where his newfound effectiveness was demonstrable. These included providing context and understanding for colleagues individually before presenting to them collectively at meetings, thinking more clearly in identified key situations about desired outcomes, developing checklists for presenting at key meetings, examining successes and failures and reviewing and learning from them. The final session with the coach was preparing for an interview with the CEO. The Director went into the meeting with far more assertion than he would have previously, seeking permission to ' blow his own trumpet a little' from the CEO. This behaviour was welcomed and had been what the CEO was looking for. Within 3 months the Strategic Programmes Director was promoted onto the board holding a global role with over 500 staff.
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