Clive Bennett & Associates
Leadership coaching case study

The over-enthusiastic Sales & Marketing Director

The situation
The high potential German manager in a multinational pharmaceutical company had been given his first Board position and although commercial results were pretty good, his relationship with his team and colleagues was not. The team was in revolt and complaints about his aggressive and unreasonable demands were becoming a problem for his boss in HQ. As a result, his boss was seriously concerned about his decision to give his protégé this chance and was beginning to doubt whether he had the leadership and team management skills needed for an international career.

Clive Bennett was asked to support him and help him adapt his leadership style and re-motivate his team to produce even better results.

The intervention
After a four hour introductory session with the "coachee", Clive interviewed all his direct reports and his CEO at length to gain a wider understanding of where problems might lie. He also did some psychometric tests and examined previous assessment reports. Clive then discussed the results of this preliminary work openly and in detail with the coachee (maintaining the confidentiality of his reports, of course). It became clear that a key problem was the Director's communication style and unsupportive approach. He assumed that what was obvious to him needed no explanation to his team. He also felt that simply delegating tasks was enough and did not follow up with support and coaching through the process. From this analysis, we worked out a programme of sessions and some key objectives. Clive also reported back, with the agreement of the coachee, to the HR Director and the CEO.

By the following year, the Sales & Marketing Director's leadership style had changed markedly. His team members were motivated and felt they could openly discuss issues and challenges with him. In return, he felt that they understood his objectives for the team much more clearly and had learned to share his enthusiasm and drive. The atmosphere in the office was palpably better. A major new product launch was a complete success and much talked about in the rest of the company and sales growth exceeded budget by a wide margin.

Over the following months Clive supported him as a mentor, someone external to the company whom he trusted and with whom he could share his concerns, debate decisions and bounce ideas around.

The result
The now experienced Director was then offered an important marketing position back in Head Office in Germany. He has since been promoted again and now holds a very senior global position. Clive continues to coach him and members of his team in HQ.