Rob is a CEO of a medium sized organisation who has an ambitious and exciting plan for growth. When he came to me for coaching his brief was how do I get more out of my senior team?
He had a big long list of complaints…
I make all the decisions
I solve all the problems
They don’t focus on the important things
They don’t think beyond the here and now let alone strategic thinking
They don’t manage poor performance
They micro-manage their teams
They’re resistance to change giving excuses of why things won’t work.
Rob was stressed, exhausted and wanted a radical shake-up. He believed the solution was to recruit an even more senior manager and put this person in charge of everyone. Beyond offering a magic wand, I needed to challenge Rob’s thinking. His way of looking at the problem was part of the problem…
Were these problems real versus Rob’s perception?
What did the senior team do well?
On these first two questions, we needed objective feedback and utilised 360 feedback for Rob and the senior team. We got clarity on what each person should keep doing and do more of and identified their blind spots.
In our coaching, Rob discovered he had a skewed belief about his identity.
He said he was “sitting here waiting to be found out; I don’t know how I got this role” – the dreaded imposter syndrome. He came to understand his thoughts, decisions and behaviour were led by an unconscious drive to mask a limiting belief he wasn’t good enough.
This imposter syndrome resulted in self-sabotaging habits, with the long list of complaints above.
We challenged this self-limiting belief; identified thoughts, behaviours and actions that would be more aligned of who he truly is and wanted to be. The actions Rob took included:
Honest two-way feedback with his team
Implementing open and transparent communication
Willingness to be vulnerable, acknowledging he and they may not always have the answers
Delegate even more, enabling the senior managers to make decisions
Three months on with a few bumps along the way there is a new-found energy and motivation from Rob and the senior managers. There is increased trust, enjoyment and even fun.
So, when was the last time you held up a mirror? Where do you self-sabotage?
Professional Executive Leadership and Career Coach
Member of AC, ILM, Qualified Coach (Distinction) LCA