Dan (not his real name), an Executive Vice President in a professional services firm, was under consideration for promotion to President of the company. As a leader of one of the firm’s largest territories, he had been highly successful in increasing revenues and growing his team. He had a reputation as a tough, aggressive, competitive leader who knew how to get the job done. In order to move from a regional to an enterprise-wide leadership role, Dan needed to build strong strategic relationships with peers across the company. This required him to modify his leadership style, emphasizing collaborative skills and softening his competitive style.
A GGC consultant met with the CEO of the firm to hear his perspective on Dan’s leadership strengths and opportunities. She met with Dan for an in-depth leadership assessment and also interviewed seven of his peers across the firm. As she compiled that information in a feedback report, it became apparent that Dan needed to do some repair work to improve several of his peer relationships. Over a year of individual coaching, Dan focused on mastering new leadership skills and utilizing those skills to strengthen his relationships with senior colleagues across the firm. In addition to the coaching sessions with Dan, the consultant met with the CEO once a quarter to assess Dan’s progress.
At the end of twelve months, the consultant surveyed Dan’s peers to assess changes in his leadership style. They confirmed that they had seen substantial changes in his openness to others’ ideas and his ability to manage conflict. Two of his peers commented on the work he had done to rebuild his relationships with them. The CEO had also noted the improvement. Within three months, Dan’s promotion to President was announced, as a stepping stone to becoming the next CEO.