BECOMING PRESIDENTIAL – NOT JUST IN TITLE BUT ALSO IN SUBSTANCE
Annie worked in a male-dominated industry and earned a great promotion to CXO level. But soon after her executive appointment she was delicately informed that her overall presence did not communicate a distinctly CXO demeanour. The board wanted her to cultivate positive professional presence that would allow her to take tough decisions with ease and navigate her teams through challenging change with empathy. They also wanted a coach who would provide practical and engaging ideas for improving her relationships, team dynamics, and helping people become better at what they do.
Annie as part of her coaching conversations confided in Coach Vikram that she was intimidated of the alpha males in the senior leadership positions. Coach Vikram helped leverage her internal obstacles into external assets and eliminated her blind spots that hindered her senior leadership performance. The coaching made her realize how she let her beliefs about her own shortcomings clouded her vision of the reality. Each coaching session started with a reminder of Annie’s overall goals, and focused on her current successes. Using simple techniques from ‘improv’, method acting, and role play, Vikram helped Annie realize her initial fear of powerful men was rather insignificant by comparison to her powerful contribution to the organization. She recognized how her own perception was affecting her ability to drive results. Vikram creatively inspired in Annie the priceless intangible qualities that stakeholders specifically look for in CXO. The 8 months coaching journey had a huge impact on Annie’s thinking and decision-making. She also learnt to adapt her behaviors, using practical tools to connect more powerfully with key stakeholders and senior management. Today Annie displays strong leadership gravitas while dealing with ambiguity and complexity, stays calm under pressure, and brings out the best from her varied teams.