The client was a chief executive in Security and Operations. He had been promoted into that position less than a year prior, having risen through the ranks over the previous 20+ years and also having served as an officer in the military. Shortly after assuming his position from his predecessor who was known for his hostile and draconian leadership style, the Chief was having a crisis of confidence. He was feeling that he did not know everything he thought he should in order to successfully remake his department’s culture into one of support, inclusion, and fair accountability. The Chief’s superiors were convinced that he was the right person both for the job and to remake the department into a well-functioning, highly engaged, and supportive unit, and hoped that executive coaching would help him to regain his self-confidence and propel him both in his position as well as to lead the department forward.
Discovery Interviews were conducted with several of the client’s workplace mentors and we administered a battery of assessments (emotional intelligence, leadership and conflict management). After reflecting on the feedback and assessment data, we worked with him to better leverage his strengths and experience. We explored how the previous leader’s style had personally impacted him and the team culture. We engaged him in a strategic thinking process that allowed him to better leverage his past experiences as well as the skills on his team. He came to understand that he did not have to do it all himself which helped to alleviate some of the pressure he had been feeling. He decided to include his team in the ideating and planning as he now more fully understood that this was essential to shifting the team dynamics and culture.
The client’s self-confidence soared without becoming unrealistic and he was able to implement cultural and structural changes throughout his department that institutionalized the support, inclusion, and fair accountability — plus teamwork, camaraderie, proper delegation of authorities to subordinates, and the creation of a leadership succession plan — that had been absent under his predecessor’s reign. Several years after leading this turnaround in himself and his department, the Chief was promoted again. Said the Chief upon his promotion, “The coaching and guidance you provided assisted me tremendously and helped me self-reflect and become a better human … not just employee or supervisor, but human being.”