When we started working my client was an expert in his field, a director in a key support function. His progression in the international organisation was through increases in profile of his work and handling more global issues within his functional area. He was doing 4 different jobs, all related to his specialty. He did not have a team. His progression into senior leadership was limited as he hadn’t managed people.
He had come into the session with the goal of ‘distributing parts of his responsibilities to others so he could focus on managing the team of specialists.’
We started with his 360° survey (an anonymous survey of his leadership skills and qualities scored by his peers, managers and stakeholders). His results were strong, he was pleased. He chose to focus on the responses of his peer group as he viewed them as the people he’d be managing if he had a team.
He identified two key actions from our initial session:
Have a vision of himself as a leader, and not a ‘one-man’ show/specialist
Revised his goal to ‘focus on playing a leadership role by, among other things, delegating various responsibilities….’
Notice the change in his goal from what he didn’t want (distributing and managing) to what he wanted (leading).
As we worked together over the summer he continued to focus on being the best team leader he could be. He developed actions from that vision/intention – he talked to peers about their career and development needs and identified training to support those needs, he communicated a long term strategy and corresponding structure to senior management, he worked with stakeholders to move some of his work to others, he identified some process improvements to improve efficiency, and he created mentoring partnerships among junior and senior members. He started acting as if he was already the leader.
At the end of the year he was promoted to Managing Director and now has a team (yes those peers in this original 360° survey). In a subsequent shorter version of his 360° survey he received comments such as: outstanding leadership skills, excellent boss and invaluable team member.
In our final session together last month we celebrated the achievements he had made in 12 months and talked about his focus post-coaching. He thanked me, saying it had been a real journey from creating the goals with me to being happy and successful with where he was now.
Grateful for the clients with whom I work. Immensely fulfilled by what I do.