Case Study – A FLUID APPROACH TO LEADERSHIP
Michael, the VP of sales and marketing in a small beverage company, needed to increase the number of products evaluated for entry into the market place. The main obstacle was his direct report Lynn, the director of product development, whom Michael had recently hired.
The challenge occurred when Lynn attended a meeting of executive team members. Lynn adamantly interjected that her vision for future products was the only appropriate course of action. Her interaction had a negative impact; it cut off communication during the meeting, therefore limiting the number of products being evaluated. This in turn limited product line profitability. Tension developed between the executive team and Michael. He realized the value in what she brought to the company, but the leaders of the company were questioning his decision to hire Lynn. Lynn was great at leading her own team but not a team player. Michael recognized her strengths but the situation needed to change.
The catalyst to bringing in Payonk Consulting, LLC was an employee review that Michael had with Lynn. He respected her ability to lead her team. However, she did not seem to understand why he was criticizing her and became defensive.
An Executive coach met with Michael to understand the landscape of the business and to clarify goals and objectives with a coach. During the first meeting, Michael realized that he needed to have a more open communication with Lynn. Michael and Lynn both agreed to one-on-one coaching plus live interactive coaching. Live interactive coaching is when the coach attends meetings with the parties involved and helps to facilitate the discussion for clearer communications. This is an effective approach because the needs and wants of both parties and the business goals are addresses in a productive manner.
Over the course of several months Michael improved his leadership skills and was better able to coach Lynn. This was evident by her interaction at an executive meeting. Lynn was becoming a team player and added to discussions instead of shutting them down. Trust was building with the executive team and Lynn was being recognized as a valuable team member.