A business leader was appointed as an officer of the company and became more visible, with broader responsibility. She needed to communicate a whole lot more than she ever had before, but she lacked confidence because she spoke with a shaky voice. Her leadership peers also provided feedback that she came across as nervous, which would impact her ability to engender trust as a leader.. She became more apprehensive about speaking at company and industry events, town halls, and other high-profile engagements.
She had the leadership chops. She had a strategic mind. She built excellent relationships internally with her team, cross-functional teams, and leadership, and externally with customers. She needed to use those strengths to find her own authentic voice and power her communication.
At the beginning of every executive engagement, we take time to get to know the executive. Where they’re from, what life experiences they’ve had, what they do for fun, which people are most important to them, and how they picture their life in five years.
This particular executive had her sights set on being THE leader of the most essential business unit in the company. It wasn’t about the job itself, but rather the opportunity it could create to impact the business and the entire industry.
In weekly meetings over the course of five years (and counting), she leaned on Decker to understand that how she showed up was holding her back. She took risks to change her behavior and approach to messaging. Fueled by a growth mindset, she embraced the fundamentals of communication and applied them to every single opportunity—not just the high-stakes events. As a result, she harnessed her strengths and became a storyteller.
With noticeable improvement, her confidence increased and became her self-propelling motivation to continue doing better and better. She nailed town hall events, aligned teams toward a common vision, and mastered even the most difficult Q&A sessions regarding reorgs and layoffs.
And it paid off. As a result of her successes, she received four promotions over five years, ultimately moving from a role in strategy to leading a team of more than 70,000 people who collectively contributed to nearly half of the company’s total revenue. The best part? That new role is the one she mentioned as her goal five years before. The journey continues.