Individual Leaders

Some examples of our Individual Consultations follow. Names and identifying details have been changed:

Tim, the CIO of a company had excellent technical skills; however, his “people skills” were troublesome. Tim’s recent 360 assessment feedback confirmed what his boss, the CEO suspected: Tim was abrasive and excessively domineering with his direct-report employees. Further, employees and colleagues felt Tim had poor listening skills. The CEO’s bottom line: Tim needed to make consistent improvement in his people skills or he would no longer be a “good fit” with the company. With our coaching, Tim better understood the “roots” of his abrasive leadership style. He learned and applied new strategies to improve his listening and interpersonal style with employees and colleagues. Tim’s changes pleased both the CEO and employees, and Tim felt pleasure at his success and a sense of relief.

Lisa, a senior executive, was working with her CEO, Sarah, to undertake talks with a potential merger partner. Both were well aware that many merger talks never get off the ground or outright fail due to misunderstandings and personality clashes between the two parties. After consulting us, they began to understand the psychodynamics of merger efforts. Both Lisa and Sarah felt they were better able to accurately “read” the other company’s values, needs and vulnerabilities. This knowledge helped them to understand the inevitable problems that crop up with all mergers. Instead of backing away prematurely, Lisa and Sarah were able to develop and implement successful strategies.

Bill, a nonprofit CEO, struggled with his volunteer Board. His biggest complaint was that the Board was unable to speak in a “unified voice”—it often seemed as though the nine directors had 10 different opinions and mandates. The Chair told Bill the rest of the Board experienced him as too headstrong and overly defensive. Knowing the Board could terminate his executive contract at any time, Bill worried about the worsening relationship. He also wondered if there were kernels of truth in the Board’s feedback. After consulting us, Bill began making reasonable changes. Soon thereafter, we worked with the Board and Chair as a group. The outcome was a much more productive and satisfying Board/CEO relationship. Further, Bill began to demonstrate high-level leadership, which helped secure his CEO position.

Appointed to her first CEO position, Joan wanted very much to succeed. She had the leadership skills to do so; however, she learned first hand that it was, indeed, lonely at the top. The longer Joan remained CEO, the more she experienced nagging self-doubts and an increasing lack of confidence about her decisions involving complex problems. Reluctant to disclose these concerns to her Board, Joan also knew it wasn’t appropriate to turn to her staff and expect them to be her listening ear. Further, her spouse was growing weary of the “shop talk" each night. Although Joan felt she didn’t need someone to “hold her hand,” she wished she had a sounding board—a neutral, confidential coach who understood leadership dynamics and the psychological demands of the CEO position. She found both when working with us.

John felt burned out as a physician. The reward for his skill and compassion was a demanding patient load, although one he knew he could handle. The worst part of his job was the personality clashes he experienced with his two physician partners in the group practice. The bad feelings and level of tension soured nearly every aspect of John’s work day and were reasons why he began arriving late to work and avoiding group meetings where important practice decisions were made. The staff, having picked up on the dissension, gossiped about the physicians and engaged in turf wars of their own. On his worst days, John fanaticized about quitting the practice altogether. But what should he do? Go solo? Work for a hospital? Start over in a new career? His consultation with us made clear two facts: (1) John loved the practice of medicine, and (2) he was not prepared for the drama often involved with running a group practice. We helped him better understand these dynamics and make positive changes to how he functioned in the group practice - and as a result, his partners began to respond more positively to John. After a period of time, the partners agreed to a group practice consultation to make even more satisfying and productive changes.

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For Whom

Huggler and Associates works with both INDIVIDUALS and GROUPS.

Individuals include CEOs, Board chairs or members, executives and managers. We also help attorneys, accountants, physicians and other professionals.

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