effective leadership

Case Study: A Journey to Effective Leadership in a New Role

Background:

During a six-month executive coaching programme, a Senior Manager in Talent & Acquisitions for the APAC region, transitioned from leading a single direct report to managing a diverse team of 35 in service delivery. With limited prior coaching/mentoring experience, she faced significant challenges building trust and unity within her new team, including newcomers and existing members. Her goal: to develop effective leadership, become an impactful leader, and cultivate a “one team” mindset.

Initial Observations:

  • Siloed Workforce: The team operated in silos with a hierarchical environment.
  • Lack of Trust and Comfort: Confidence and trust issues existed due to the mix of new and existing team members.
  • Overwhelmed Direct Reports: Two key managers showed different strengths but needed support in delegation and decision-making.

Objectives:

  1. Unite the Team: Foster a “one team” mindset to improve collaboration and reduce silos.
  2. Leverage Strengths: Identify and harness the strengths of team members.
  3. Promote Delegation: Shift from making all decisions herself to empowering her team.
  4. Develop Leadership Skills: Cultivate a supportive, appreciative, and effective leadership style.

Strategy:

  1. Reflection and Vision Setting:
    • Evaluate personal leadership style.
    • Define what “one team” looks like and set clear, shared goals.
  2. Build Trust and Empathy:
    • Engage in regular one-on-ones and informal interactions.
    • Create a safe environment for open communication and feedback.
  3. Empowerment through Delegation:
    • Encourage team members to take ownership of their tasks.
    • Support managers in developing decision-making skills.
  4. Cultivate a Collaborative Culture:
    • Encourage cross-team sharing and collaboration.
    • Foster a listening culture where all voices are heard.
  5. Continuous Learning and Improvement:
    • Provide opportunities for skill development and learning.
    • Promote a growth mindset and resilience against failure.

Implementation:

  • Regular Check-Ins: Weekly 30-minute chats to share progress and challenges.
  • Skill Development Sessions: Curiosity and learning sessions to build confidence and capabilities.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Regularly solicit feedback to adjust strategies and improve team dynamics.
  • Mentorship and Buddy System: Pair quieter team members with more experienced colleagues to build confidence and encourage knowledge sharing.

Challenges and Solutions:

  • Overwhelmed Managers: One manager needed nurturing to delegate more effectively, while the other required support in people management. Provided targeted coaching to develop their respective skills.
  • Hierarchical Culture: Promoted a more collaborative and less hierarchical environment by encouraging team members to voice their ideas and participate in decision-making.

Outcomes:

  • Increased Engagement: Higher levels of engagement and a noticeable shift towards a “one team” mindset.
  • Improved Collaboration: The team became more collaborative, moving away from siloed operations.
  • Enhanced Leadership: Grew confidence and ability, learning to delegate and support her team effectively.
  • Stronger Team Dynamics: The team developed a stronger support system and became more open to collaboration and innovation.

Key Learnings:

  • Mindset Matters: Her experience underscored the importance of mindset in leading a team through change.
  • Empathy and Support: Building a culture of empathy and support is crucial for team success.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regular reflection and feedback are essential for ongoing development and improvement.

Conclusion:

Her journey demonstrates the power of effective leadership coaching in transforming a diverse, siloed team into a cohesive, high-performing unit. By focusing on empathy, collaboration, and continuous learning, she successfully navigated her new role and achieved significant progress toward her goals. Her experience highlights the importance of a growth mindset and the value of empowering team members to take ownership and contribute to a shared vision.

January – June 2024

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