Leading from the inside-out

How can you prove to yourself, your people, and your customers that you’ll lead them to success in the midst of a sudden reorganization that has made you the newest top executive?

This client came to us to help him become a great leader.  Through our work together he developed his own unique and powerful leadership style that’s built a stronger and more cohesive senior team and put in place a leadership culture aligned with his values and setting people up to win.  He’s happier and more fulfilled than ever.  And the business has become a vehicle for everyone to thrive and grow, along with the bottom line.

The path to self-discovery relies on a robust 360-feedback process

We started with a self-discovery process to get key insights, help increase self-awareness, and clarify and pinpoint client goals. A 360-feedback process with his key stakeholders and a series of assessments helped create an action plan to achieve the changes he wanted to make. He got his raters engaged in this process by openly sharing his results with them and getting their inputs and support to help him stay focused and accountable. This would also be the basis for measuring his change.

On-going coaching then supported his work of turning his insights into deliberate, daily behaviour change, establishing new habits and developing mastery.

My senior team told me I needed to do a better job of coaching them. Taking the time to review my report with them and the changes I wanted to make was a breakthrough moment for us all. Being pushed to regularly follow-up with them has helped me stay accountable, make changes, and also drive home my message that leadership development is high priority and tightly aligned to our business objectives.

Stress management brings key results

Like many of his peers, this client was in overdrive even in his sleep, which was negatively affecting his health, energy levels, and relationships.

One of the biggest shifts for me came from experiencing the connection between taking more time to renew my energy and being a better leader. I hadn’t realized how toxic my own high stress was to everyone who crossed paths with me, not just my senior team. This made it easier to adopt some new habits that at first seemed counterproductive, like working fewer hours and taking more personal time.

He set out a number of goals related to managing his stress and energy levels, including learning some mindfulness meditation basics.

I learned to pay attention to my breathing, which put me more in tune with my body and helped me relax. Being calmer gave me more control in stressful situations. It also cleared my head so I could think more strategically.

A leadership-point-of-view (LPOV) builds trust and engagement

We also worked with him to craft his leadership point of view (LPOV).

My LPOV process has given me courage to act more in line with what I most value and to be crystal clear about what I expect of everyone and what they can expect of me in terms of ethics, values, and behaviour for our business. This is keeping us more engaged and connected with each other and to the business, which is a key result as we continue to expand across geographical boundaries and time zones.

His LPOV message was so compelling and made our people strategy real. I feel more connected to him and to this business now than ever before.

A more flexible leadership style improves team performance

The coaching also focused developing a more flexible leadership style, especially when dealing with conflict. His key reports had become reluctant to challenge him or give him “bad news,” because they thought they’d be criticized.

Through this coaching process, I’ve come a long way in being more open and responsive to the people around me, and less controlling. And that’s reducing stress for all of and building more trust, which is making us all more productive.

Results have a ripple effect

An 18-month coaching follow-up with his 360-feedback raters proved his new behaviours were bringing him the changes he wanted.

The results have been tangible not only to me but also to everyone in my life. People are noticing and commenting, including my wife!