Actionable Coaching for Successful Leaders

How can leaders who are already successful take their leadership to their next level of effectiveness?

Some areas that might be challenges for Successful Leaders are around: Implementing a new change initiative, getting buy-in for strategic decisions, or resolving conflicts. Other challenging areas might be: Navigating the political landscape, or strengthening their executive presence or emotional intelligence.

These are the kind of issues all leaders – even exceptionally successful ones deal with at one time or another. The question is how to turn these challenges into strengths?

What we’ve discovered, in working with Successful Leaders for 20 years, is that the leader needs to understand their leadership strengths and weaknesses, the underlying cause that is sustaining any ineffective behavior or preventing them from getting to their next level of leadership effectiveness, and knowing how people perceive the impact of their leadership behaviors.  This understanding is essential to identify the exact behaviors to focus on and strengthen.

Then a powerful thing happens: The Successful Leader becomes even more successful!

Successful Leaders believe that they will be successful.  They have a positive self-image and high locus of control – so they are confident in persisting in the face of difficult odds.  They resolve differences in a productive manner and learn from their mistakes.  They know how to focus on both the people and profit sides of the business, get what they need, and progress in their career.

Who is This Program For?

This program is for established senior leaders and high potential leaders choosing to rapidly achieve breakthrough results so they are able to consistently perform at their optimum and realize their next level of leadership effectiveness. 

Typically, they might be transitioning into a new organization, adapting to a new role, expanding their scope of responsibilities, or needing to modify behaviors and want to achieve breakthrough results to:

  • Lead global teams
  • Implement a change initiative
  • Obtain buy-in for strategic decisions
  • Resolve differences
  • Navigate the political landscape
  • Enhance professional presence
  • Strengthen Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  • Utilize time more effectively – including balancing their work and personal life!

This is what the Actionable Coaching Program for Successful Leaders Accomplishes:

This practical program enables leaders to reach their next level of leadership effectiveness which contributes to their success, the success of their team, as well as that of the organization.

By the end of the program Successful Leaders will have increased their leadership behavior repertoire and will have:

  • Learned exactly what they need to rapidly enhance their leadership effectiveness and success;
  • Confidence in consistently being able to use the new behaviors in a variety of circumstances;
  • The actionable intelligence needed for continued success.

Why is This Program Unique?

What distinguishes this coaching program is:

  1. We leverage the leader’s political frustrations and help them build winning relationships. Since many leaders struggle with organizational politics and leading and implementing change, we use our proprietary influencing technology (Influence2Win2) to help leaders strategically achieve their key business objectives by expanding their capacity to influence up, across, and down.
  2. We shift the leader’s mindset from ‘what is’ to ‘what could be’. We capitalize on the leader’s strengths as well as help the leader understand the implications of their actions and the root causes which may be sustaining ineffective behaviors or preventing the leader from using new behaviors. As a result, the leader will learn exactly what is needed to enhance their leadership portfolio. One of Sara Jane’s clients said, “Sara Jane provides the actionable intelligence needed for continued success.”  As a result, the leader, the leader’s team, and the organization reap ‘real value’ from the coaching investment.
  3. We identify leader’s brand and philosophy and ensure that these are made visible by consistently demonstrating them. Once the leader knows what their Core Operating Principles are, the leader (and everyone else) knows what the leader stands for. Core Operating Principles are the leader’s moral compass – ground rules for interactions, and GPS for decision making. As the leader lives their COPs, others will recognize the leader’s brand and philosophy.
  4. We position the leader for long-term success…because it is never too late to be what and how you want to be!

Leadership Success Examples:

Successful Leaders might have new responsibilities as part of a reorganization and need to earn the trust of coworkers with whom they have not previously worked; or, maybe a new individual has joined the company at a more senior level and the two leaders are ‘bumping-heads’ so the Successful Leader needs to turn the relationship around and strengthen it; or, maybe the Successful Leader has just been promoted and is now peers with people who used to be senior to them, so the newly promoted leader needs to communicate and conduct him/herself differently; or maybe the Successful Leader is transitioning into a new company and needs help onboarding to assure rapid assimilation.  Consider these typical challenges which turned into successes:

The Chief Marketing Officer of a global Financial Service firm had recently been promoted to this position.  He had had strong technical skills as well a solid relationships which had facilitated realizing consistent results – and his subsequent promotion.

After he had been in his new roles for just a couple of months he realized that the strong working relationships that he had had with his former peers (now his direct reports) were somewhat strained so that communications and accomplishments were not flowing smoothly.  He also realized that the easy going relationships that he had had with senior managers (now his peers) were also strained.  And, all of this was exacerbated by the CEO tasking him with a significant project that was potentially going to impact many of these individuals – so they felt threatened.

Working together, we decided that it would be beneficial for him to use his market research skills to ascertain the feelings and perceptions of each of the individuals (peers and direct reports) with whom he was having challenges.  Using that information we then crafted unique strategies for him to communicate and work differently with each of the individuals – to get the relationship back on track.  While some of these ‘turn-arounds’ occurred rapidly, others took more time, and some new strategies needed to be created.  Over time, the solid relationships were realized which, in turn, facilitated the completion of the project.

***

The Vice President for a line of business within a high tech company was herself French and residing in France. Because she was incredibly efficient and effective and well respected, she had rapidly risen to this level. Due in part to her actions and results orientation, she tended toward a command and control leadership style.

In response to a merger, she was given a new and more important position – though at the same VP level. In this new role, she needed to work closely with an SVP and his team who were located in the USA corporate headquarters in the acquiring company. This SVP was a very strong command and control leader. Collaboration was not in his repertoire. As a result, the friction between the two was visible to all. Since she needed his cooperation to accomplish several of her responsibilities, their differences needed to be mitigated – their discord needed to be replaced.

Working together, we identified the specific benefits the SVP would realize by working harmoniously with the VP in France. We paid special attention to ways in which he would have greater control and visibility to his management. We crafted a comprehensive strategy to convey this information to him.

Implementation of the plan was difficult. Over time, the SVP began to realize the capabilities and value of the VP and her staff, and the needed collaboration materialized.

***

The Director in the Legal Department of a global Financial Services firm requested an expansion of her role in the organization. While a relatively new leader she felt that she was ready for increased responsibilities – and her management concurred by moving an additional function under leadership. Since she wanted to ensure that she would continue to be successful in her expanding role, she wanted to be sure that she focused on the essential relevant behaviors to enhance her executive presence.

Working together, we identified her own Core Operating Principles (COPS) so that she could be aware of them, let them guide her, and let them shine through as she interfaced with others up, across, and down in the organization. We focused on her consistently demonstrating authenticity, trust, and respect along with paying attention to the attendant subtle cues that can support or diminish each. We identified several individuals as role models within the organization, and connected her with a mentor who would help her navigate the political landscape.  She is continuing to flourish!

Why This Important, Practical Program Works:

The insights gained from the compelling results of 360 interviews together with the results of the leadership assessments pinpoint exactly what is needed to do to rapidly enhance leadership success.

The practical, results-driven approach, combined with clear feedback and direct communication – are guided by the wonderful words of Max Planck (renowned physicist) who said, ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’.  This enables the leader to think, feel, and behave outside of their familiar, comfortable ‘sand box’.

The program also includes a process for ensuring sustained success.

What Results Can You Expect?

This program is, above all, based on producing results. Here are some of the things past clients have achieved:

  • Increased in their leadership behavior repertoire.
  • Built, sustained, and leveraged their networks which facilitated resolving, mitigating, and avoiding conflicts.
  • Greater insight into self so that the leader was able to choose how to behave instead of automatically responding.
  • Generated contagious enthusiasm which facilitated influencing (obtained buy-in for key ideas.)
  • Persisted, even in the face of difficult odds, because the leader acquired an increased awareness of her locus of control.
  • Used her high need for self-determination to drive for success.
  • Experienced the value in focusing on both the people and profit sides of the business.
  • Realized that she did not have to be thrown off course by some critical feedback so that she could continue to know that she will be successful.

What Other Have Said About the Program:

“I have benefited greatly from all the tangible help and pragmatic support you offered throughout this year.  I have ‘made peace with politics’ and am now applying my energies to work with decision makers.  Using my strengths and brand attributes and focusing on win/wins actually takes less energy than contending with my rivals!”  Vice President – Global Technology Company, Germany.

***

“I have experienced a wide variety of management training and mentoring over many years and Sara Jane was singularly the most effective that I have had the opportunity to work with. She demonstrated skillful acumen in tailoring our sessions to my specific situation and point in my career!  I was very impressed how she was able to teach me techniques by using them with me, I realized after we were done with a session that she worked with me using what she was talking about.  I would higly recommend Sara Jane for anyone going through the coaching program that might feel they have little to gain from it.  She will make believers of them all.”  Vice President – Global Pharmaceutical Company.

***

I needed to improve my self-confidence and raise my self-esteem to set the stage for me to get to the next level of leadership.  Working with Sara Jane, we were first able to determine other people’s perceptions of my skills, abilities, and leadership qualities.  After these perceptions were benchmarked, we began to examine ways to improve and reverse any negative perceptions.  Over the last six months, and with Sara Jane’s guidance, I started to feel more confident and relaxed in the day-to-day business world.  Working from the inside out, we were able to stress my successes and accomplishments in a way that had a positive impact on me internally (the way that I look at myself) and externally (the way that others see me).  My stakeholders have seen a remarkable upswing in my attitude and leadership abilities over this time.  More importantly, I feel more self-confident and know that I am a better leader.  The strength of my relationships and ease with which I complete my responsibilities affirm my feelings.  Managing Director – Professional Services Firm.

***

I needed to strengthen my executive presence to succeed in my expanded role and position myself for my next promotion.  Sara Jane helped me to understand that executive presence is not (merely) a set of overt skills that people ‘see’ but rather the strength of my self-esteem and internal power.  The results of leadership assessments, insightful questions, along with the development of my Core Operating Principles has me well on my way to where I want to be.  I understand that this is a life-long journey which I am glad to be on.  Thank you, Sara Jane.  Vice President – Legal – Global Pharmaceutical Company.

Where we start in the Program:

The very first step in working with a Successful Leader is understanding the current impact the leader is creating.  We use the results of 360 interviews and individual leadership assessments to pinpoint behaviors on which the coaching will initially focus.

Then, though a series of focused coaching sessions we work with the leader until they are confident in consistently executing their new behaviors in a variety of circumstances.

We ensure continued success by sharing a process for ongoing development.

The Structure of the Program:

These are the steps we typically go through in working with a Successful Leader:

  • Initial meetings with the sponsor, client’s manager, and the client.
  • 360 individual interviews and leadership assessments.
  • Goal setting (based on interview and assessment data), and clarification of roles and responsibilities during the coaching process.
  • Semi-monthly coaching sessions (usually for 6 months).
  • Brief just-in-time coaching calls, as needed.
  • Interim pulse-check – at about 3 months.
  • Assessment of coaching outcomes – at about 6 months.
  • Review of going forward process for sustaining and deepening new behaviors.

The Next Step:

If you think we can support you in your development to get to your next level of leadership effectiveness, please Contact Us to briefly discuss your improvement area(s) and explore how we might work together.