Executive Presence : Assessment, Coaching, Training

Building Capacity to Step into the Executive Leadership Role

With an Ivy League MBA already in hand, Mohit has quickly risen through the ranks to his new position as a SVP of a global technology firm. Along the way, he had been rewarded for revamping the business and realizing explosive growth. However, as he became more senior, some of the same internal, independent  qualities that propelled his early rise  had begun to work against him. His manager wanted to help Mohit adapt his leadership style for the next executive-level role, which required a firm-wide perspective, focus on developing key people, and a reliable ability to draw from the collective wisdom of the firm. 

The sponsor manager wanted Mohit’s coach to develop a trusted partnership with Mohit and offer him  practical, concrete strategies on a 3-point agenda: let go of his relentless action-bias mindset, thoughtfully grow his people, and patiently influence global stakeholders. And during this process, the sponsor wanted Mohit to achieve measurable results and sustainable change — not only for himself, but also for his team and entire organization.


Diagnosis: During the insights sessions with the stakeholders, it came to light that Mohit wanted quick results and had always been rewarded for immediate action, rather than long-term team building or the development of others. HR also shared how there were also a few team member complaints against him. This had led to a view by some that he was isolated, or even arrogant, in making quick decisions and dominating critical discussions. While he was perceived as able to make correct economic and financial decisions, not all were as confident in his leadership of the people. We also administered Coach Vikram’s EPI™ to reach a robust appraisal of his ability to influence across the organization. 

Mindset Shift: Although Mohit was excellent in executing his business, taking on a bigger role often creates a different dynamic. His assertive and often pushy style would be self-limiting in the next executive leadership role. To ensure the long-term success of the organization, it was critical for him to develop more discretion and patience towards his team. The first 3 coaching sessions focused on Mohit letting go, at the mental level, of his obsessive focus on developing the business dynamics even at the cost of building his leadership and influence skills. This allowed him more time and headspace to reflect on his sense of compassion towards his team. The EPI coaching report illustrated how his compassion and good intentions were low and that he wasn’t exercising real inclusiveness and interactivity – and how this in turn was calling his integrity into question. His “light bulb moment” was when he realized that this trait of his was undermining his leadership. 

Behavioural Shift: Our coaching program focused on how Mohit could come to be seen as a strategic leader who delivers great insights rather than being seen as a more transactional order taker or service provider. To temper his aggressive action bias with better judgment so that he leads at the firm level and realizes the execution of strategy through his team, we developed a 6-month learning game plan with 3 objectives to help him influence across teams: 1. Showing more restraint in meetings by encouraging others to express their views, 2. Seeing the best in people and motivating them with positive reinforcement to live up to their best selves, 3. Holding himself accountable to be useful in whatever way is actually needed to support his team members. 

Mohit transformed from  his original methodical, analytical style to a broader, more strategic approach. He now demonstrates a balance between simple execution and  thoughtful engagement from his staff. The key stakeholders within the firm have realized that Mohit is now clearly in transition to take over the business and is more comfortable embracing the full leadership role as a partner of the firm. And yes, he is a big proponent of offering random acts of kindness to his team. 

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