Search Menu

Turning senior managers into leaders

Coaching for business heads provides spark for personal and business growth

I designed and delivered a coaching-based development programme for senior managers in an ambitious recruitment business that saw major potential for growth.

Leadership shortfall

The company operates in several divisions and some were performing much better than others. The directors wanted division heads (HoDs) to step up to become more accountable for performance and develop the capability and confidence to drive the company forward. They were also looking to:

  • build team spirit and sense of ‘cabinet’ responsibility among the HoDs so they could co-create results and coach each other and their teams for the good of the whole company
  • strengthen HoDs’ client-relationship capabilities
  • engage HoDs in an energising and practical intervention.

Coaching to forge leadership capability

I created a bespoke development programme, based on coaching, to help the HoDs make the transition from manager to leader while encouraging the development of a coaching culture.

Key elements of the programme:

  • Two half-day Lumina Spark sessions for the whole HoD team. The first focused on raising self-awareness while the second was spent on reflection and peer coaching.
  • A half-day Lumina Sales session for the top team including the MD. This helped participants see how their personal preferences and typical behaviours affected the sales cycle including their ability to manage clients and generate repeat business. It also covered sales fundamentals such as prospecting and relationship building.
  • Half-day coaching sessions for pairs of HoDs to address issues affecting their divisions. Sessions were based on their areas for improvement identified by their Spark and Sales portraits.
  • Each HoD had two or three follow-up one-to-one coaching sessions to help them work out a strategy for their division.

Coaching results

One of the weaknesses in the HoD team was big-picture thinking; this had been left to the directors. I delivered a range of activities that helped HoDs develop the attitudes and skills to address this shortfall.

Another major stride forward came through my work to help HoDs learn to adapt their communication to others’ preferences and needs. This enabled more productive dialogue with directors, among the HoD team and with staff in the divisions.

All the HoDs now have a more confident approach to leadership. In particular, they:

  • have greater level of self-awareness and choice in managing self
  • lead their teams through a coaching approach in which they can give and receive feedback without defensiveness or fear
  • have greater motivation and resilience and an ability to nurture those qualities in others
  • use the GROW model for goal setting and problem-solving.

Through the coaching, two HoDs realised that their long-term career ambitions were better served elsewhere. This left room for a successful divisional realignment that also opened the door to new talent.

Since I delivered the programme, the company has enjoyed a period of revenue growth across its divisions.