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No One is Perfect! – Part 4

One leader’s story of how accepting he is not perfect led to stronger working relationships

<This story is about one of ACG’s coaching clients, the name of the leader as well as other information that may identify the leader or the organization has been changed. Read Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of the story.>

Six Months Later – Jack’s Progress and Next Steps

< Jack, as agreed, checked in with his boss monthly to report on progress. The coach also provided a progress report on a monthly basis to Jack’s boss. This last part of the mini case study is focused on progress six months after Jack and his boss agreed upon the action plan.>

It is six months later. Jack has made great progress on his action plan, including:

  • Meeting each month with peers to informally share best practices, exchange ideas and discuss problems and business issues. Some of these meetings have been one-on-one and others have been with 2 – 3 peers together.
  • He also held a meeting with all of his peers to brainstorm areas where all departments could collaborate for cross-functional improvements in processes. A number of areas had been agreed upon and prioritized and Jack was leading development of the strategic plan to move forward in collaboration with his peers. His coach was supporting him on these efforts.
  • One-on-one meetings with his direct reports were happening on a bi-weekly basis
  • Team meetings (direct report and their staff) were happening on a monthly basis
  • There had been one quarterly meeting held so far which enabled the entire department to get together. This meeting was focused on brainstorming around areas for process improvement within the department and included a team building activity.
  • Weekly meetings with his coach for the first three months which then were moved to bi-weekly meetings. Based on collaborations with his coach, Jack had attended or was scheduled to attend a number of executive-level training sessions. The sessions with the coach were renewed for another six months based on the amount of progress made to date. As part of the next sessions with the coach, a 360 assessment would be conducted during month eight.
  • He had submitted draft strategic plan for reorganizing his group for his boss’ review after two months and had shared those plans with his peers and direct reports to get their feedback/thoughts. His coach also provided feedback on the plan. The plan was finalized based on feedback during month four and was now with the executive team for approval.

Jack was still struggling in some areas, including his ability to manage well under pressure and stress and “letting go” so that others could take the lead. However, he was able to reflect when necessary with his coach and was beginning to “catch himself” more frequently; making adjustments as he was in the middle of situations.

Interviews conducted by the coach with a number of Jack’s peers and his direct reports, as well as with Jack’s boss, showed that there was definitely progress made overall.

As you’ll recall when we first started this case study, Jack appeared to be doing well overall in his role. A new leadership team, however, had far different expectations than the previous executive team. Jack’s new boss, the COO, gave Jack the opportunity to change how he led his group and supported his efforts. And Jack certainly took to heart his conversation with his boss as well as his boss’ expectations and developed and committed to an action plan to be more effective as a leader in this organization.