Engagements at (and that) Work

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LeadershipTraction® offers an array of one-on-one, group, and assessment-based solutions for your leadership development needs. Sometimes, though, more customized solutions are in order.

To that end, here are several examples of uniquely-designed engagements…and the results they enabled:

Proxy-Based Coaching

Executives Successfully Inspired Their Teams While Solving Their Own Time-Crunch Issues

  • CLIENT: IT Operations division of one of the country’s largest insurance carriers.
  • PROBLEM: Notwithstanding the increasing recognition that Information Technology personnel needed to learn more about how business operates and the “people” side of leadership, the senior management team for the division knew they had neither the time, nor skill, to coach and mentor their direct reports – or others in their organization – as much as was needed or wanted. Based on my prior 1-on-1 work with each of them, they retained my services as their proxy for these efforts.
  • APPROACH: Using my F.R.A.M.E coaching model as a guide, each participant enrolled in 6- to 9-month fully-customized, 1-on-1, coaching engagement that included a mix of in-person, by phone, and email-based interactions designed specifically around their particular developmental needs, current responsibilities, and career aspirations.
  • RESULTS: Leaders insured that their key leadership messages and department priorities got regularly reinforced without having to do so themselves, saving them time and providing more thorough follow-up, support, and executive-level insights throughout the organization. Direct reports felt motivated and inspired by working with an external coach and advocate who understood the needs and preferences of their bosses so well.

Executive Intelligence Training

Engagement Soared as Leaders Learned New-and-Improved Ways to Keep Things Moving Constructively Forward

  • CLIENT: Auto claims processing division of a major full-service insurance provider.
  • PROBLEM: High-potential leaders were identified as needing to accelerate their growth and development so they could have a more positive and powerful impact up, down, and across their organizations sooner than their trajectory indicated they would.
  • APPROACH: Each leader was coached, 1-on-1, for six months, focusing, specifically on improving their understanding of, and work within, the three contexts of Executive Intelligence: (1) Getting Things Done; (2) Working With and through Other People; (3) Recognizing Your Impact, Taking Responsibility for It, and Modifying Your Behaviors Accordingly. Additional elements of the engagement included: by phone and in-person coaching/mentoring; shadowing; 360°- and a battery of self-assessments; role-playing; and an unmitigated focus on driving key business results.
  • RESULTS: Each leader was recognized by supervisors, downstream employees, customers and vendors, and friends and families, for marked improvements in their leadership style and impact; all operational metric goals were met or exceeded; employee morale and productivity improved; customer/vendor satisfaction ratings improved; and it became “significantly easier to do better work.”

Conflict-Competency Coaching

Record-Breaking Sales Resulted from Leaders NOT Avoiding Difficult, Important Conversations

  • CLIENT: Sales Directors of a Fortune 100 financial services organization and leading retirement provider.
  • PROBLEM: Assessing and improving the “conflict competency” of sales directors, across the country, with respect to their increasing the use of constructive responses to conflict, decreasing the use of destructive responses to conflict, and better managing the “hot buttons” that trigger them into real – or perceived – interpersonal conflicts.
  • APPROACH: Baseline conflict competency levels were identified through the use of the Conflict Dynamic Profile – Individual (CDP-I) self-assessment and personalized debriefings/coaching, thereafter.
  • RESULTS: Observable improvements were recognized in those who have not always handled conflict as effectively as they might; those who typically have failed to anticipate, recognize, and recover from, what “triggers” feelings of conflict, in themselves and others; those who tended to avoid certain interactions because of their inherent potential for conflict; and those who wanted to become more agile and effective in conflict situations.

Ad-Hoc Coaching and Mentoring

Sometimes All Anyone Needs is Some Outside Perspective and a Few Meaningful and Relevant Insights

  • CLIENT: A leading worldwide manufacturer and provider of medical technologies and related services for the health care industry.
  • PROBLEM: Due to a series of layoffs and a significantly flattened hierarchy – and the “chasm of leadership continuity” created by relatively inexperienced managers now reporting directly to senior-level executives – the company’s Global Learning and Development (GLD) group, with my assistance, created a “fast-track” program whereby the need for short-term, coaching and mentoring calls could be immediately approved and scheduled to improve employee hardiness.
  • APPROACH: GLD would pre-purchase a bulk number of coaching calls that a designated liaison would then allocate, on an as-needed basis, to functional managers across the company needing assistance. (Allocations were then “billed back” to user departments so the entire initiative was cost-neutral to GLD.) As the call inventory depleted, bulk re-orders were processed and paid for, which helped GLD manage program pre-buys on a quarterly basis.A typical engagement lasted 2 or 3 calls, provided company managers with a confidential sounding board for such things as: performance management discussions; interviewing and selection; planning and forecasting; presentation dry-runs; and such.In an unrelated assignment, I facilitated the morning of Day Two of an off-site department retreat, integrating the learning from their “high ropes” experience the day before and seguing that into a readiness for the planning and goal-setting activities scheduled for later in the day.
  • RESULTS: Numerous manager/employee difficulties and misunderstandings were quickly mitigated or avoided entirely.

Impact and Influence Training

Managers and Employees Greatly Benefited from Better Articulating the Business Justifications for Their Requests

  • CLIENT: A global leader in commercial real estate services and building management.
  • PROBLEM: Aging facilities infrastructure, insufficiently skilled operatives, deprecated preventative maintenance routines, and increased tenant customization requests had created significant  building infrastructure risk and exposure for this Class-A facility. But prior requests for additional personnel and project funding were rejected as unnecessary and expensive.
  • APPROACH: Assisted Director of Infrastructure in how to identify and properly articulate – in specific business terms – current operational risks, and their short- and long-term impact; near-term operational risks, and their short- and long-term impact; optimal, and minimally-required, mitigation needs; related department restructuring with recommended personnel-change timeline; financial implications with options for funding; and a thorough assessment of the business and operational risks and financial implications of inaction or deferring the decision to proceed.
  • RESULTS: Developing the discipline to approach these “behind the scenes” infrastructure issues as having important business/financial implications (rather than as facilities/technology funding requests) enabled the executive-in-charge to garner the necessary support and approval needed to restore/upgrade this marquee landmark for the business and financial betterment of its tenants, stakeholders, and the building itself.

Power and Presence Development

Introverted Leaders Learned to Enjoy Communicating More Confidently, Decisively, and With Greater Strategic Imperative

  • CLIENT: Smart, capable leaders across a variety of companies, industries and functional responsibilities.
  • PROBLEM: These kind, caring leaders were reluctant to claim their personal power – or constructively ‘push’ their direct reports – to further important projects and programs because they weren’t sure how to do it, effectively, as validated by prior efforts to do so going awry.
  • APPROACH: Deep talk about the whys and wherefores of business priorities, extensive role play, and finding approaches, and rationales, that were in keeping to their core values and personal style.
  • RESULTS: These leaders felt much more ready for the important conversations they knew they needed to have, stared having them more proactively, prepared for them more readily, and better managed the inevitable in-meeting twists and turns, without losing the thrust of their messages or their respect for those they were conversing with.

Engaging, Relevant Conference Breakout Sessions

Provided Leadership Development Micro-Lessons Applicable to Anyone Grappling with People-Management Issues

  • CLIENT: Niche industry Association wanting to add a leadership focused breakout session to its annual member conference.
  • PROBLEM: While attendees had extensive expertise in their functional responsibilities, they realized they were far less confident and capable when dealing with the ‘people’ side of the business and wanted to learn some new techniques and approaches they could add to their leadership toolkit.
  • APPROACH: A combination of micro-training modules, visual takeaways, practice, small-group discussion, debriefing, and Q&A.
  • RESULTS: Attendees not only learned how to upgrade their leadership skills, they also had the opportunity to practice and discuss several of these elements so that they could: (a) actually practice their learning using real-world scenarios of their own choosing; (b) benefit from hearing other attendees share their insights and lessons learned from the materials presented; and (c) return to work with a clear sense and purpose as to how, when, and where to improve their leadership impact.

Outcomes, Measures, and Results

Curious about other outcomes, measures, and results derived from working with LeadershipTraction? Just follow any of the following links:


If you think a brief conversation about your leadership development needs – or those of others in your organization – could be useful, call or connect to coordinate calendars.

I encourage you to take that step.

barry zweibel, mcc-master certified coach

Barry Zweibel | MBA, MCC

Leadership Development Specialist

Improve How You Lead By Improving How You ... THINK!