What If That Problematic Leader Could be Saved?
By: Patty Prosser
In a recent Forbes article, research showed the majority of leaders want to be seen as an effective and inspiring leader. What if you have a leader, however, that isn’t effective or inspiring, but is a valued employee?
At The Center for Leadership Excellence, we believe that leadership excellence can be learned, regardless of past behavior. Our research proves that when individuals are made aware of the issues impacting their leadership efficacy and provided adequate coaching support, most (over 90%) achieve improved performance ratings in as little as 90-days.
Recently, we were engaged by a media group to work with one of their sales leaders. The organization was experiencing frequent complaints about the individual’s “competitive” nature, lack of empathy, and inability to work with other departments in the organization. This leader had developed a reputation for being condescending and self-promoting in communication, as well. The organization’s recent employee engagement survey data only reinforced the repeated complaints.
This leader’s boss acknowledged that the individual was valuable to the organization, but needed to model the leadership qualities that were valued by the organization. The boss believed this leader was worth “saving” and thought engaging an Executive Coach might help. When we met with this individual, they could not argue with the data, but also felt others were mis-interpreting the “intent”. The individual wanted to continue in leadership and was very open to learning how to effectively work with his team and others departments / leaders in the organization.
We conducted a behavioral assessment and gathered 360 data to further “inform” our process. Our focus was to help the leader develop new behaviors and communication strategies to improve his reputation within the organization. Although not easy, over the next six-months, this leader did learn new strategies to demonstrate empathy. They learned ways to show appreciation for the contributions of others and to help his team feel included in the success. Additionally, this leader learned to solicit and listen to feedback on the progress he was making, to increase his self-awareness and keep him on track. When the leader’s team and others were surveyed again (confidentially), they acknowledged that positive progress had definitely been made. This leader similarly acknowledged that the new behaviors were producing even greater results than before.
Not all leaders willing acknowledge and accept the responsibility of changing their leadership behavior. However, if they agree to make an effort to grow, there can be positive results and the organization gets to retain a valuable employee.
The Center for Leadership Excellence’s Early Intervention Coaching Program is designed to help good employees, learn to be more self-aware, recognize the behaviors that need to be changed and develop new and sustainable behaviors that can help them become excellence leaders. Learning strategies and skills to improve their leadership approach, can help retain a high-value employee and continue to foster trust and respect with employees.
To learn more, contact Patty Prosser, Coaching Practice Leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-264-4178.