Vice President – Commercial
Context for coaching
Will was taking a step up from leading a business function, to a much broader and strategic leadership role, reporting to the CEO. To support him with this ascension, his organisation chose to invest in a programme of executive coaching. Will had experienced coaching several times in the past and, as a discerning stakeholder, knew what he was looking for and what it could do for him.
What Will was looking to achieve
Will worked with his coach to identify 3 key goals he wanted to achieve through his coaching programme. These were outcomes-focussed and rooted within the business to ensure measurable impact:
Goal 1: To broaden his leadership skills
Goal 2: To develop a broad COO skill set, with a focus highlighted on handling ambiguity
Goal 3: To develop relationships of trust with key stakeholders and broaden his influencing techniques
Will was recommended to Connor by the Senior HR Director. Having had coaching previously, it was particularly important to Will that his selected coach was someone he could build a strong relationship and trust with. Connor’s chemistry matching service ensured this need was met and he was paired with Carrie.
What the programme consisted of
Will undertook a 12 month Executive Coaching Programme which consisted of:
- A coach chemistry matching service: Time was spent understanding Will’s personal requirements, identifying what type of coach would best help him to achieve his goals and build a trusting relationship with him. From here we were able to make a personal recommendation of several coaches. Will met with his choice of coach, before confirming that he was happy with the fit and to progress with the programme.
- A 3-way objectives-setting meeting: This was conducted early in the programme, bringing together Will, his manager and his coach, to connect and align them on shared objectives and aspirations.
- 6 x 2 hour face-to-face coaching sessions: Each session was tailored to work on Will’s personal development objectives and build momentum as the programme progressed. A blend of face to face and remote coaching sessions were included, to suit Will. This allowed for real in-the-moment learning for sustained, powerful results and enabled us to adapt our approach to deliver virtual sessions following Covid-19.
- Reading and ‘putting things into action’ happened between sessions, deepen and embedding learnings.
- A final 3-way meeting: This was conducted at the end of the programme between Will, his manager and his coach to reflect on coaching outcomes, progress and agree next steps. This was deemed extremely helpful for all parties, as a great opportunity to share feedback.
We asked Will what has been the most effective aspect of his coaching
“The work Carrie has done to deepen my philosophical thinking has been the aspect which I believe will make biggest difference to my future, personally and professionally.
Carrie created an environment where truthfulness was critical, there was challenge, often gentle, but an approach which asked as many questions of yourself as provided answers directly. For me there have been 6 major learnings:
- Further deepening of self-awareness, especially the concept of personal red lines
- More attuned to physiological aspects and need to centre/meditate
- Understanding my natural compliance skillset and danger of overuse
- Personal importance of achieving greater clarity of accountability v authority within new role
- Testing different approaches to deliver desired outcomes
- Importance of easing off myself sometimes.”
We asked Will “What feels possible now?”
“That the path to COO feels more achievable. It also feels like a personal cross-roads in some ways, that the future is more defined by myself and that I need to detach myself more from seeking others affirmation more moving forward.”
How Will would summarise his journey with Connor
“Having just completed my 10-month executive coaching programme, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Connor and to Carrie for the coaching you have provided to me. It has deepened my philosophical thinking, something I believe will make the biggest difference to my future, personally and professionally as a leader.
When I began this journey, it was pre-COVID, then everything changed. Connor’s support and expertise through this period has been incredibly valuable, and been a great ‘case study’ in how coaching can be instrumental to a leader through a period of ambiguity.
There was challenge, often gentle, to my thinking and an approach that asked as many killer questions of myself as provided answers directly. You created an environment where truthfulness was critical and I was able to look at my strengths – where these were helpful as well as over-used, my behaviours and my boundaries.
It has been a fun journey – I have learnt a lot achieved clarity in many areas and have pragmatic tools I can now continue to implement. Thank you.” – Will Hall, RCI