Breaking the Logjam: Executive Coaching, Strategic Initiative Design & Implementation

Tom is the experienced and capable HR manager at a large law firm. However, when asked by the Managing Partner to design and implement a critical new strategic initiative for employees, he surprisingly became indecisive and failed to provide direction and leadership for the project. I was engaged to work with Tom on personal and professional development issues and to assist in the formulation and implementation of that strategic initiative.

First, Tom and I focused on increasing his visibility in the firm, decreasing the time he spent on routine administrative matters, delegating more effectively, identifying his personal leadership style, and improving his self-confidence and self-presentation skills. Through our discussions, Tom came to realize that the strategic initiative required a level of conceptual thinking unlike that needed in Tom's prior work. Together, we identified his specific skill deficits, how he wanted to address them and the best ways to do so. Consequently, Tom's personal and professional "presence" improved, his anxiety level diminished, and he began to do his best thinking relative to designing the new corporate strategic initiative. The "logjam" had been broken and Tom began to get traction.

Second, Tom began to articulate a conceptual framework for the strategic initiative, specific actions to be taken, a timeline, staffing, benchmarks,, and the other details of implementation. Once he realized the importance of the new initiative being accepted by the Managing Partner, other professionals and those who reported to Tom, he focused on his group presentation and relationship building skills with key constituencies in the firm.

Results of our work together include Tom's increased self-confidence, improved self presentation skills, and the realization that he has significant (and previously underutilized) conceptual thinking abilities. In addition, his reinvigorated commitment to the firm resulted in his improved ability to manage the HR department. A detailed plan for the strategic initiative has been approved by the Managing Partner and is now under active review by the senior management team, with the expectation that implementation will begin this year.     [back to case studies]