“Will Will Advance?”

Please note: Although the names in the following examples have been changed, the situations as well as the outcomes are as reported.

Will Davis was a highly-regarded executive in a major organization in the Southwest.  He had been with the organization for more than 20 years and, in those 20 years, had distinguished himself as a man of great intellect, great energy, and a seemingly endless supply of problem solving skills.  He seemed to be on his way.

When Will acquired a new boss, however, his fortunes seemed to shift.  Will’s boss, Mike, recognized Will’s great talents and rewarded him well for the application of those talents.  Mike could not, however, promote Will, not recommend Will for promotion, since Will’s ability to work with people was grossly underdeveloped.  “If Will is going to grow in this organization, he simply will have to get better at the people part,” was Mike’s constant refrain.  Upon the recommendation of Steve, the HR manager, Olive Tree Associates began a coaching relationship with Will.

The initial diagnostic phase was a challenge.  Although OTA customarily interviews key persons in the executive’s business and personal life, Will requested that some of his key personal contacts not be interviewed.  He explained that a history of difficulties with these individuals, combined with an unresolved issue may skew the interview results negatively.  At his request, then, these individuals were not interviewed.

A combination of assessments, interviews, document review, and observations followed.  Upon the completion of this diagnostic phase, Will reviewed the results with the OTA consultant and the two of them began the process of building a set of goals for Will.

When the process began, Mike indicated that he would be thrilled if Will could make the needed changes within the next two years.  Because Mike’s future advancement was at stake, he worked diligently—asking in-depth questions through the coaching process, and trying a variety of techniques that his coach recommended before settling on those approaches that worked most effectively for him.

The outcome?  Instead of waiting two years for his promotion, Will was able to receive it in NINE MONTHS!  In relating the reasons for the promotion, Mike indicated, “the excellent coaching that Will received, combined with his intense desire to change—at multiple levels—made for a homerun in my book.”  “I’m proud to have recommended Will for this position—and I’m thrilled that we will be not only be able to promote him, but that we can send him into his new role with an excellent set of skills to ensure his future success.”

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