Case Studies

Cascading Leadership Credibility Principles throughout an Organization

LRI worked with a client organization to conduct and analyze its employee survey results and identify a few key areas of focus for the coming year. One of the areas of focus was “leadership effectiveness,” due to the fact that both the survey’s quantitative results and written comments indicated that this was an area where there was slippage.

The organization’s General Manager and Human Resources Director approved LRI’s proposed engagement that involved having an LRI consultant serve as a leadership coach to the entire senior leadership team for the subsequent year. The goals were: First, to help the members of the team to maximize their effectiveness as leaders; and second, to help them to help their direct reports to be more effective as leaders, which presumably would have a positive ripple effect throughout the organization.

LRI gathered data on all members of the senior leadership team, via interviews with direct reports, peers, and managers, as well as via existing data such as recent 360° reports. The LRI consultant presented each member of the team with a feedback summary, and he worked with each leader to develop a set of “leadership goals” for the coming year. He also had three-way meetings with each participant and his/her manager, to ensure that the plans were seen as “on-track” by participants’ bosses, and also to allow those bosses to weigh in and help the participants revise their plans, as necessary. Further, the whole team met on two occasions during the year to share their plans with one another, in order to get additional feedback and support. One-on-one coaching sessions periodically during the year were held in order to ensure accountability and offer additional counsel. There was also a leadership workshop that was tailored to a specific issue from the leaders’ feedback that LRI facilitated for this group.

The engagement was seen as a success, as the following indicators suggest. First, leaders on the team actually sought the LRI consultant out for guidance on specific challenges between scheduled meetings. Second, the leadership development process ended up being cascaded down to another group of key leaders at the vice-president and director level. Finally — and most importantly — one of the “positive findings” from the subsequent year’s employee survey was that “leader credibility” was seen as having improved dramatically; some respondents actually alluded specifically to these leadership development efforts in explaining the improvements that had been observed.

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