Executive Coaching Success Stories
SVP Builds Influence and Engagement to Drive Business Strategy
The SVP of Relationship Management for a global financial company received feedback that he needed to be more concise, clear, and persuasive in his communications with stakeholders. To lead his team in navigating complex relationships with external partners, this leader needed to bring more of his authentic self to his leadership style. The coach partnered with him to develop a communication strategy and deploy practical techniques to engage and inspire his staff, create clarity in his messaging to external stakeholders and partners, and win buy-in from the leadership team. This resulted in a transformation which ultimately helped this leader become more confident and influential, resulting in immediate positive feedback from his boss, the leadership team, and his staff. As a result, his organization strengthened key relationships with external partners and realized the strategy in building new partnerships that contributed to the bottom line of the organization.
CEO Succession Candidate Amplifies Executive Presence to Become the Face of the Company
The Chairman of the Board for a major health insurance company retained the coach to help prepare a leading CEO successor candidate for his potential role. This leader had run multiple lines of the business, mostly in operations, and was trusted and admired for making good business decisions. To become CEO, he would need to learn to become the face of the company and re-establish his brand with external partners and clients. As he was by nature an introvert, the coach worked with him to build a stronger executive presence with internal and external stakeholders. They created a communications plan and messaging to create alignment and followership. Throughout the coaching duration, this leader was offered the role of CEO and continued to work with the coach as he faced the challenge of leading the company through healthcare reform. The coach helped the CEO develop change communications as the company went through a reorganization of their business model. Ultimately this leader successfully transitioned into the CEO role, built trust among the board and senior staff, and created a stable, profitable company that has grown year-over-year despite unprecedented change.
Business President Builds Trust, Creates Stability, and Mobilizes Teams During Transition
The president of a business unit within a Fortune 150 company retained the coach to improve his executive presence and communications, specifically in dealing with the board. Soon after the start of the coaching engagement, this leader was tapped to run another international business line that had seen the unexpected departure of their beloved and influential president. The client was faced with taking on the new organization during a time of tumultuous change. In addition to the leader’s departure, the business was facing new strategic initiatives and significant demands from clients. This leader had to quickly build trust, get people aligned, and mobilize teams to move the business forward. The coach worked to develop a 90-day transition plan and change communications plan to make the transition as smooth as possible, in addition to working on his original goals of improving board communications. Throughout the coaching engagement, the client learned how to develop a different style of communication and leadership that created stability within the organization. He successfully transitioned into the role, established trust with his leadership team and other key stakeholders, and ultimately helped the organization sustain a profitable business.
Business President Recieves Tough Feedback on Executive Presence
The Business President of a growing retail brand engaged in the Bates ExPI™ (Executive Presence Index), an assessment tool that reveals perceptions of a leader’s executive presence and influence. Feedback demonstrated developmental themes related to specific facets of “executive presence,” specifically, in his ability to employ active listening and demonstrate resonance, promote interactivity among teams, and demonstrate respect and integrity. Since these results came from a cohort of his direct reports, this feedback had the potential to undermine his ability to execute and drive his vision for the brand. The coach partnered with the client to address these developmental areas head-on, immediately modifying his approach to his leadership team meetings. The coach is working to help the client encourage discussion, promote collaboration, and create a new sense of alignment around the mission. This immediate course correction is creating a cascading impact on the culture, promoting more collaborative effort and inspiring people to rally around the vision of the organization.
EVP Refines Communication Strategy to Engage Others and Encourage Collaboration
The EVP of Customer Service within a defense and aerospace company had a reputation for being a hard-driving, results oriented leader. Feedback from stakeholders, including the members of his ELT, identified gaps in his ability to consistently communicate in a way that encouraged collaboration. Other leadership team members felt that he wasn’t aligned and didn’t engage with them. Outside of his function, this leader was expected to communicate with leaders in operations and engineering to deliver on the customer service strategy. His style was impacting cross-functional relationships and creating a ripple effect down to the teams, ultimately resulting in a reduced quality of customer service. The coach partnered with him to map out an entirely new communication strategy for engaging with key stakeholders, reflecting on his existing communication style, repositioning his message, and mapping out opportunities to reframe his brand within the company. In addition, the coach partnered with his ELT, facilitating an offsite to
encourage collaboration and offer a platform for members to weigh in on their ability to deliver on the strategy. His peers began to perceive him as being more collaborative and strategic, and he repositioned himself with cross functional teams. Feedback from the CEO is that they’ve seen the impact in the way this leader shows up in meetings, collaborates across the aisle, and ultimately drives execution of his strategy.
Defense VP Creates Alignment and Refocuses a Struggling Team
A Vice President at a Fortune 500 defense and aerospace systems company was given a mandate to take over a troubled program that was running over budget and operating without a clear mission. With the coach, he set out to realign and refocus the team and navigate complicated relationships with customers. Together, they partnered to help the leader put his stamp on the business and manage the complexities of aligning a team around a new strategy. Through change communications planning and message development, the leader was able to clarify the vision and mission, articulate his top priorities, build camaraderie among the leadership team, and ultimately create alignment. Within nine months of the beginning of the coaching engagement, this leader had the program moving in the right direction and had successfully repaired relationships with key customers and stakeholders.
Global Pharma Leader Learns to Prioritize and Communicate to Drive Strategy
An SVP with a global pharmaceutical company had hit an inflection point in his career and was at the cusp of being promoted. He was respected for being a strategic leader, but had a negative and defensive demeanor that often alienated people. Feedback revealed that he needed to become more of a team player, be more visible and demonstrate a stronger executive presence in communicating with key audiences. The coach helped him gain an understanding and appreciation for how his leadership style was impacting the business. During the coaching engagement, it became clear that a barrier for this leader was his ability to manage his priorities. His busy calendar was contributing to others’ perception of him as being unresponsive, unfocused and detached. The coach helped him become more mindful of his role in encouraging inclusivity and interactivity in meetings, becoming more present in communicating with others, and being more confident in his ability to present his point of view. They partnered with his team members to help him prioritize his calendar and stay focused on the business strategy. This leader has since been promoted to run the European operations of the company.
Technical Leader Develops Influence Across the Organization
A Vice President in a Fortune 500 technology company was new in the role and had risen up the ranks because of her strong technical skills. She now needed to step up and develop influence across the enterprise. While she did an outstanding job communicating with engineers and technical staff, she needed to learn to communicate cross-functionally and tailor her messages to resonate with other audiences, including sales and customer-facing teams.Through coaching, she gained an awareness and understanding of what the expectation was in her new leadership role. The coach partnered with her to help her translate her vision into succinct, crisp messages, and together they developed techniques for preparing for high stakes meetings. The coach partnered with her team to provide them with a shared set of communication tools they could use to collectively build their brand. This leader’s boss reflected that he now has the confidence to put this leader in front of his peers and give her more opportunity for visibility.
Executive Makes the Case for Change by Motivating and Inspiring Others
A C-level officer for a Fortune 50 company was tasked with leading a global enterprise-wide change initiative. The project was moving more slowly than desired because many in the organization didn’t understand or even buy in to the case for change.. In addition to dry and overly complex messaging, executive presence was an issue for this leader, who wasn’t viewed as commanding the room or motivating people to take action on the strategy. The coach partnered with the leader to help her understand the feedback she was getting and develop an action plan to address the issues. The client learned how to create deeper engagement by using communication tools that enabled her to motivate and inspire. She began adapting her messaging to resonate powerfully with each of her audiences. She also learned to demonstrate new behaviors that signal confidence and position her as a leader among leaders. By the end of the coaching engagement, the organization had not only enthusiastically bought into the case for change but was moving into the next phase of implementation. In addition, 360 feedback showed that the leader’s original issues with executive presence had virtually disappeared.