Case Study 2: Getting Results Collaboratively
The vice president of a financial services company had been a part of the company since its early days.
A decisive leader, she thrived in the command and control environment.
She was good at deciding what had to be done, communicating her decisions clearly, and holding people accountable. The culture of the company, however, was changing. With more employees in offsite locations and more team and individual decision-making, the VP's style no longer worked in the more collaborative and fluid environment. Her staff resented her hierarchical approach, and she became alienated from the rest of the management team. The VP knew she needed to modulate her leadership style from "command and control" to support and mentor, but she didn't know how to do so and still maintain her team's admirable execution abilities.
Working together, we first brought to light the specific behaviors that were counter-productive and didn't help her lead in the new company culture. We then reviewed her current leadership profile. She created a new, ideal leadership profile to step into, taking into account her natural style and tendencies as well as the feedback she got from others. She learned new leadership tools and experimented with them to broaden her range of abilities.
At first the team was hostile to her changes, feeling that she was "faking" it. However, she stuck with it and honestly asked for their feedback and advice. Her team realized she was sincere and also saw that the changes she made were helpful. They began to support her, and the team as a whole became enormously more creative and effective - exceeding their goals for the year—while creating a more dynamic and fun work environment.