ART of Performance: Coaching a lone ranger
Building trust and alliances to get things done
Malcolm was a highly intelligent divisional director. Honed in the skills of intellectual debate, he took pleasure in always being ‘right’ and easily demolished the arguments his peers raised in board meetings. His division certainly delivered results. But Malcolm was frustrated because he’d been passed over for promotion several times.
What we did
Working with Malcolm, we collected feedback from his team, his peers, his boss and the Board. Initially dismissive of the messages that he was seen as an unpredictable Lone Ranger who put his own and his division’s interests ahead of the whole company, Malcolm came to realise that he wasn’t behaving like a CEO in waiting. Whilst his ability to act strongly was valued, he lacked the trust of his peers. Having to be right in every argument meant that he didn’t build consensus. We coached him to think differently and take a longer-term view, so he could choose which battles were critical and which issues he could let go. And we helped him to empathise with other people and understand that not everyone worked in the way he did.
Malcolm is maturing as a leader, and he’s building the trust and support of his peers. He’s now seen as a credible CEO candidate.