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Developing Leadership Style - Case Study

By developing leadership and influencing management style, an

individual can be transformed, credibility increased and business
performance ignited.
Business Context Coaching Approach
Having experienced rapid worldwide growth, an Our approached consisted of eight meetings over
international arts business with operations in 43 the course of twelve months. It encompassed
countries was undergoing a period of multiple starting points that reflected the complexity
consolidation due to the uncertain economic of the role and the organisational context.
outlook. As part of an expanded marketing team,
Early in the process, 360 feedback was
our client was promoted to International Head of
gathered, discussed and explored to pinpoint
Marketing Strategy, a highly strategic role focused
key strengths and weaknesses.
on defining a radical and more cost-effective
marketing strategy for the organisations 85 global The client constructed a business success model
offices. A major part of the role was to motivate that gave her an opportunity to consider the key
the rest of the team with an inspirational vision, business drivers and hard outcomes of the role,
encouraging regional buy-in to a fundamental and to link this to the leadership style required
global strategic shift. The clients success in such a to deliver results.
challenging role was wholly dependent on her Critical incident coaching was used to prepare
ability to engage key business leaders and the client to handle key situations, with a lot of
stakeholders. emphasis placed on review and learning.

The Challenge An analysis of key business stakeholders was

undertaken, with conscious decisions made
Prior to her promotion, our client was exceptionally about where time, energy and focus should be
effective in an operational role, with powerful spent.
strategic and analytical skills. However, despite
Outcomes and actions were reviewed at each
delivering great results in her new role, her
session, with brutal honesty about successes
passionate and exuberant nature could
and failures. Learning was then discussed.
sometimesby her own admissionmanifest itself
as autocracy. This leadership style would then The entire programme was reviewed in the final
override the need to influence and collaborate with session, following a process where the client
others. She agreed that her effectiveness could be gathered examples of both business and
enhanced by building an ability to engage the personal impact from key stakeholders, such as
business. Together with her line manager, the her boss and peers.
International Marketing Director, she agreed a A scorecard was used to rate performance
number of personal objectives based on building against key objectives at the start, during and at
better personal relationships, developing a more the end of the programme.
flexible style, listening more and delegation. These
formed the basis of our coaching, along with an
agenda to develop a talented functional expert into
an effective business manager.
Developing Leadership Style continued

Business Impact
Through developing the clients management skills and influencing her leadership style, she was able to make a
significant impact on company performance, as reported by the International Marketing Director:
She operates at a new level of sophistication and skill. She has established the authority and credibility to
make change happen; she has impact and is listened to. The entire approach to marketing changed. We are
fully up-selling, cross-selling and re-activating our customers. She has created a marketing strategy rather than a
promotional strategy. The budget has gone from being a cost line into a profit line. Costs have been reduced
by 82%, and run into millions. The value of sales has gone up by 25%. She has managed to reach out to
people who otherwise would not have bought.

From the clients perspective:

The spirit of this coaching programme was one of deep understanding. We built this early and trust was
complete. The coach brought with her a hard edge of challenge. This was sometimes delivered with speed and
disarming simplicityand sometimes imperceptibly. I came to notice things that were previously unseen. She
made suggestions; she listened. Everything was discussed with deep empathy and from a position of great
care. My team is more engaged and the change of approach created the base line for me to become
responsive, listen to the business and to implement change.

Objective Movement during coaching Stakeholder Feedback

(1=poor, 10=excellent)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Senior level personal However good you are, you have to engage
relationships with the business. She operates at a new level of
sophistication and skills. Marketing experts have
come and gone but the business now listens to
her because they are comfortable with her and
how she engages Line Manager
Flexibility of style and She has invested time in influencing and
therefore influence persuading others and won them over to new
ways as a result

Inclusive / The new approach to marketing has been

collaborative style institutionally engrained within the organisation.
The data driven CRM strategy has gone from
theory to practice. We now believe it and own it
Senior Business Head
Listening and concise Less of the machine gun verbiage
Delegation The difference between campaign XXX and
campaign YYY was noticeable and a huge
improvement because the team engaged with line

Work-life balance Bar some exceptions I dont work weekends any

more. This was unthinkable 3 years ago

For more details please contact:

Lisa Williams Sheena Porter

Head of Executive Coaching Practice Director, Chief Operating Officer
T: +44 (0) 7776 460604 T: +44 (0)7831 421566
lisa.williams@oxford-group.com sheena.porter@oxford-group.com

The Oxford Group marketing@oxford-group.com www.oxford-group.com