Three Insights On Leadership Set-Backs and Building New Capability

  1. The leadership task is often bigger than the best leader’s experience.
  2. A truly trusted advisor can help leaders deepen self-awareness and craft new strategies.
  3. People don’t easily change the fundamental nature of who they are—awareness, choice, and overcoming resistance are critical to new action.

Physician Leader Wrestles A Huge Opportunity For Impact

A physician leader has a two-pronged program responsibility that has grown through great success over recent years. The leader’s ability to stay on top of and put his mark on each and every study, patient, team member, and external stakeholder has become impossible. We helped the leader:

  • Digest feedback on key strengths and opportunities to improve; interestingly, the strengths were the key to his success.
  • Put a strategic frame around all the deliverables and worked the timeline.
  • Made some structural changes and become clearer and more demanding of team members and senior internal and external stakeholders.

The leader is back on top of the team and the work—future work is funded and stakeholders are aligned.


From a Handful to Hundreds of Staff With a Huge Charter

A young leader was handed a much bigger functional group than managed in the past. The leader was new to the complexity of the political playing field. And, the function required a transformation in service and leadership within the team. We worked with the leader to:

  • Create a personal platform for success—putting strengths in the front and anticipating pitfalls and gaps.
  • Create a new, strategic vision for the function. We grounded that vision in the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Engage the entire staff in that vision—one interaction after another.
  • Replace some team members and develop others.
  • Set a plan for engaging and standing up with much more senior peer stakeholders.

The wide functional team is on-board with the vision and the leadership team is on track to lead breakthrough initiatives.

Achieving a Personal 180

The board of directors of a media company attributed the company’s slump to the VP of Sales. Plans to replace the executive were forming when we engaged the VP in a situation assessment and course correction. With insights formed by 360 feedback from peers and subordinates, the VP’s initial resistance gave way to:

  • A true quest for turnaround.
  • Embrace the power of understanding and thinking strategically about a diverse set of direct reports and peer relationships and developing different approaches to managing each relationship.
  • A new ability to integrate feedback and data on personal strengths and weaknesses to develop a new leadership profile that drives business goals and aligns with cultural expectations.

Two years later, sales are back on track, trust levels are up, and the VP is seen as model of good leadership.