How Executive Coaching for a smart, mature and competent VP improved his team leadership and retention.
Jeff was recently promoted to VP at a Fortune 1000 Life Science Company. His staff of 135 was responsible for an operating budget north of $230 Million. Jeff showed promise early in his career. He was tagged as a high performer over the eleven years he spent rising through the ranks. His accomplishments were well regarded by the C Suite leaders as his division had both strong performance and consistent growth for five years. Because of their confidence in him, the executive team announced expectations for higher market share growth for his division.
Jeff was facing two key threats to his ability to deliver on expectations; industry recruiters were cherry picking at his team (three of his top managers were lured away to competitive organizations), and internal politics were heating up as the company was aligning for another round of growth by acquisition. Even though Jeff was smart, driven, and competent, he recognized that an Executive Coach would accelerate his thinking, planning, deciding, and execution. Jeff sought out coaching in order to address both internal and external issues in order to accelerate reaching his objectives.
Executive Coaching is radically different from a university program. Coaching provides immediate application, customization to culture and person, and the powerful closed loop of feedback. Over the course of nine months, meeting twice per month, Jeff conceived and implemented a cross departmental committee of peers. In the private intensity of his meeting with his coach, Jeff shaped norms and standards that were integral to his team culture and function. These norms then formed the foundations for performance evaluations and expectations that were integrated into department plans and goals.
More than just private one-to-one meetings, Jeff partnered with his coach in facilitating team wide change. Over the course of four months, Jeff and his coach facilitated three internal division manager meetings during which everyone collaborated to establish the behaviors and processes that would exemplify the new team norms and expectations.
Results and Value
Jeff and his team established a clear mission, developed norms and expectations, and helped new managers quickly adjust to the culture. Jeff engaged his peers directly, offered increased contribution to the strategic planning process, and increased Executive Team visibility and support for his projects.
Furthermore, he initiated weekly coaching meetings with his new managers and applied his own coaching skills to focus on problem solving and strategic thinking with his staff. The improved communication and attention to opinions increased engagement. And, the time that he freed with increased team efficiency allowed him to concentrate on what he enjoyed most, developing and implementing novel strategic initiatives that drive the organization’s mission. And this was noticed as C Suite executives invited him to play a more central and consistent role in forming corporate wide strategy.