Polishing your rough diamond

Driving too hard

Kevin was a newly recruited senior Director of an international company. He was intelligent, ambitious and hard working. Unfortunately he also had a reputation for driving people hard and losing his temper when others failed to meet his exacting standards. This aspect of his behaviour was identified as a barrier to him progressing to a more senior role, so we were asked to help.

So how did it work?

As we coached Kevin, it quickly became apparent that the problematic aspects of his behaviour were out of character.  We spoke to people from his previous company who described him as ‘their best boss ever’, inspirational, supportive and challenging. In his new role, Kevin was determined to make a real contribution fast. But the working culture in his new company was subtly different and his network less developed.  His instinctive response was to drive himself, and others, harder. Although well intended, this caused collateral damage and weakened rather than strengthened his standing.  In Kevin’s words the feedback was “a wake-up call”.

The results

Through regular coaching sessions, we helped him to identify when and how to flex his style and moderate his intensity without lowering his standards.  Kevin quickly made very productive changes that made more of his natural ability to support and mentor his team.  As a result he is now considered ready for promotion to lead the whole business.