A leading technology company was in the midst of succession planning for a C-suite executive who was planning to retire. He identified a talented senior-level team member who was an excellent candidate for replacing him, but that person wasn’t confident that they could step up to that level. While they were excellent tactically in their existing role, joining the C-suite required new skills to present to the board confidently, navigate organizational politics, and influence within the organization. It also required level-setting their responsibilities as the department leader with former peers and setting a new cultural direction.
Based on the identified areas of improvement, we began an ongoing executive coaching engagement to elevate the candidate’s executive presence. The focus was on organizing thoughts, clearly presenting ideas, and showing up with conviction. As they improved their effectiveness presenting in front of town halls and other meetings, their confidence increased and their internal credibility grew, which motivated others to buy into ideas they presented.
Once a foundation was established, we began to work on organizational impact by defining their vision to create a more collaborative department. The executive wanted to create a culture where each team member was empowered in their role and with defined strategies for success. Coaching included guidance on how to influence through their communications, establishing the right cadence of communication, and engaging with senior-level leaders. Role play and practice was critical to the process.
After a series of interviews with the board, the executive was hired for the C-suite role. Internally they earned the perception of being an incredibly confident, focused, strategic, and inspirational leader who brings wisdom and calm to the role. Since then, they have gone on to solve some of the organization’s most difficult challenges.