From Middle Manager to Executive

The Client

An ambitious mid-level leader seeking broader roles and promotion opportunities.

The Problem

This client has always been successful in his roles and received positive performance feedback and had strong advocacy from his leadership. Even so, when the rare promotion opportunity would come up, it always seemed to go to someone else. My client viewed himself as being at the halfway point in his career. He had enough time invested to expect to have reached some personal milestones and knew he had limited years left to make his career as fulfilling as possible. Recognizing that there must be more to understand about what people saw as his strengths and areas for improvement, this client reached out to me to help him gain a greater understanding of how to maximize his potential. He felt that he received a lot of feedback designed to keep him motivated and engaged but he wanted feedback to help him grow and be seen as a frontrunner for roles with more impact and influence.

The Challenge

The leader chose me specifically because of my expertise in talent management and leadership development. In this case, there was no burning issue that we knew needed exploring or an identified capability or skills gap that we needed to focus on. Instead, we needed to take a holistic look at where he was, why he was there and how to change. He also had a sense of urgency, as his organization was experiencing enormous change. With change can come organizational restructuring and new roles and opportunities in leadership. We wanted him to quickly be in the best position to benefit from these dynamics instead of just weather them. Becoming more self-aware and better able to read and respond to things in the workplace more thoughtfully would benefit him personally – as well as provide more value to the team he managed and the colleagues he partnered with.

My Role

During my six months with the client, I functioned as a strategic, confidential thought partner and coach. I gave him the support and space to process everyday challenges while continuing to help guide the change he wanted to see happen for him.

What We Did

Once I’d spent an appropriate amount of time assessing the situation, I had several concrete recommendations of focus for my client.

360 Interview Process

My client had never done a comprehensive and confidential process where key stakeholders are interviewed on strengths and areas where he can become better. Through a 360 Interview with his colleagues, I was able to provide a degree of clarity he had never had on “what people weren’t telling him,” which was a request in his initial coaching discussion.

Emotional Intelligence Competency

My client wanted to feel more confident in reading a room and people in certain situations. We began a number of activities and exercises designed to increase and hone his understanding of EQ and his ability to use emotional insight to differentiate himself as a leader.

Upgrade Team

To be seen as a leader with an incredible team that does what needs doing, we had to take a deep look at his current team talent and assess where changes were needed. As a result, we upgraded several key roles and streamlined roles and responsibilities, freeing up my client to do much more strategic stakeholder management.

Personality Assessments

When investing time in becoming more self-aware and working on self- development, getting to know your primary motivators and values as well as your triggers for and tendencies under stress can be incredibly helpful. We did a series of assessments to help the client better understand himself, which, in turn, allowed him to better manage himself.

The Result

Since my time with the client, he has received a promotion and a role with significantly more scope and responsibility. He is far more engaged, motivated and challenged by new learning and is paying that forward to his teams. His success is professionally and personally rewarding to me as an executive coach. My dream is to take leaders with a passion to elevate their game and create an action plan to make it happen.