A High Potential Investment Banker
A 37 year-old investment banker was identified as having high potential to grow with the firm, while operating with a style considered offensive and off-putting to his peers. He was considered very skilled technically and highly intelligent, yet had been unsuccessful at winning cooperation and collaboration from several of his co-workers. The tone and impact of his communications were often perceived as condescending, he issued challenges that were often interpreted as personal attacks, and conveyed a sense of arrogance and entitlement. Although not career threatening, the shortcomings lessened his effectiveness, prevented further career growth, and kept him from being considered for a management role.
The executive entered a Leadership Development Coaching process encompassing a thorough assessment of his personal attributes as well as his leadership and persuasive styles. The results of a battery of online instruments were interpreted by an experienced professional psychologist. Twelve co-workers, whose names had been submitted by the executive and were approved by his supervising manager, were interviewed in a behaviorally anchored 360 degree survey of the executive’s leadership style and effectiveness.
The Leadership Development Coach and the executive had a number of in-depth discussions about the findings of the assessment. The results provided the executive a comprehensive description of his enduring personality patterns and tendencies and provided him a conceptualization of his functioning he found valid. The findings of the 360 degree interviews demonstrated the ways he presented himself to others and how he impacted how they saw him and felt about working with him. The Coach and the executive completed a lengthy conversation about the ways in which he would prefer to be seen and the impact he wanted to have. They created an Individual Development Plan intended to provide the blueprint by which the executive could work in attempting to close the gaps.
The executive and Leadership Development Coach met bi-weekly for an additional four months. During the meetings, which typically lasted two hours, they identified real-life and real-time situations offering the greatest challenges to his commitment to develop. Feedback on the development process was provided in monthly meetings between the executive and his supervising manager and in a four-party conference between the supervising manager, the executive, a peer, and the Leadership Development Coach.
The internal observers provided confirmation of what the executive had reported to the Coach; his professional relationships were working far better than they had ever before, he was credited with making greater contributions to the group’s functioning, and he had not lost any of his competitive edge. Additional feedback from co-workers confirmed the perception he was a lot easier to work with, respond to, and even disagree with than before. He was subsequently awarded the opportunity to take-on a second line of business and promoted into a significant management position.