A $100 million service company was run by a team of stakeholders all serving at a “C” level within the organization. There was a notable amount of discord within the executive team and so they were losing a good deal of money because of resulting inefficiencies. Also the dissension was having a negative effect on the morale of the corporate office staff and even spilling over to regional offices as well.
A colleague and Sam went in and did a thorough assessment of the organization and its leadership during the initial discovery segment of the project. As a result of this assessment it was strongly indicated that the 2 major stakeholders would benefit form executive coaching, addressing the leadership and interpersonal issues that were gravely affecting their capacity to effectively lead the executive team and the organization as a whole. They agreed.
Sam coached one of the stakeholders –let’s call him Miguel. Miguel’s business skills were notable, growing a small family business into a multi-million dollar corporation. His challenges, were interpersonal in nature. Assessments –from both personality tests and 360-degree surveys–indicated that Miguel was overly involved with others.
He kept poor boundaries with others –wanting to know everything that was going on all the time. He formed divisive alliances with different segments of the executive team and staff. And when Miguel did not get his way he would start “throwing temper tantrums.” As a result, both his fellow executives and staff often avoided any “truth telling” encounters with him.
They met for coaching 2-3 times a month for 6 months and worked on self-regulation behaviors –a component of emotional intelligence –that was not natural to him. For example:
Miguel dominated executive team meetings. They learned during the discovery period that his fellow team members mostly tuned him out. Afraid to confront him, they simply waited for him to finish talking. They set up a practice where every time he wanted to talk in a team meeting he would mark a piece of scratch paper. After 5 scratches, he could talk.
As a result of their work, Miguel became noticeably more stable. He developed a keener sense of engagement with others without intrusion or micro-management. He achieved some control over his aggressiveness. He learned how to hear feedback without taking it personally.
As for the executive team meetings, he found that because he was not constantly espousing his “brilliant” ideas, he started to listen more to what others were saying. And from that listening became a team player rather than a distraction. And because of his notable business acumen, other members of the team began to ask a “more-quiet Miguel” what his opinions were which simply delighted Miguel.
As a result of this, along with team building and communication exercises, the tone and efficiencies of the company significantly increased. Along with the above achievements, an unexpected result took place. One executive, who was hiding in the shadows of the poor corporate culture, could no longer hide and was eventually let go. The results of this intervention could be measured in the millions of dollar given the new efficiencies, positive morale of the staff and the elimination of a dysfunctional executive.