Managing for Success!

(203) 653-4692

Archive for September, 2012

This program is an extension of the concepts raised in PSG’s training for performance management. Read More→

I have had the pleasure of working with Wil and PSG over the past decade plus. Most has been in compensation plan design and structure plus strategic planning and employee performance improvement. Wil has a truly unique expertise in the hospitality industry and has helped me and my organizations improve business practices. Wil is the consummate professional and brings an incredible work ethic to his projects, along with a collaborative and consultative approach. Wil has always exceeded my expectations, which is why I have worked with him for so many years.

Wil Brewer has worked with Spin Master from our beginnings in a garage in Toronto some fifteen years ago through our growth to a global company. He and PSG have conducted 360s and employee engagement surveys (including in Spanish and Chinese), and developed our compensation structure and performance management/ pay-for-performance system. I have really valued Wil’s integrity and independence. He brought to my attention the tough organizational issues, including my own, and was always available to respond to requests. We commend the professionalism and excellence of Wil and PSG.

I have worked closely with Wil Brewer and his team at performance Solutions Group on a number of initiatives, from leading strategic planning meetings to customized training classes for all levels of our organization for 6+ years. The product Wil delivers is always better than expected, and his delivery is on time, with the highest degree of professionalism. His background as a chartered accountant allows him to speak the same language as we do as a financial services firm. Our staff, including senior team members, frequently remark about Wil’s easy-going and effective interpersonal style—he can deliver a difficult message in a way that makes the recipient open and receptive, which is quite a unique talent!

During the six years the ASPCA has worked with Wil Brewer and PSG, we have progressed from staff engagement surveys to working with teams to develop action plans capitalizing on the results. PSG has conducted leadership training programs with 360 degree reviews to assess leaders’ development needs. To complement the “technical” leadership skills, Wil has led Emotional Intelligence training. This training will now reach all levels of staff.

Wil and his extraordinary team have brought valuable development opportunities to our executive team, middle managers and staff throughout the “A”. They have gained the trust of all to provide constructive, actionable and confidential insight for the benefit of individuals and the organization. We look forward to many years of continued collaboration.

PSG serves the nonprofit sector with real excellence. It brings best practice and the latest industry innovations to all its clients. We look often to PSG for help and advice in challenging environments.

It worked because she realized it was not all about her – it was about everyone else whom she had to lead and she worked at listening, developing her emotional intelligence and letting go.

  • VP, largest division of a major public company
  • Seven direct reports and with numerous external customers
  • Highly successful female executive with liberal arts background, working in a culture of male engineers
1. Coaching Focus:
  • Develop more strategic thinking, transitioning from a tactical, project management frame of reference to developing high potential as a leader
  • Delegate effectively, including decision-making and avoiding tendency to micro-manage
  • Improve staff meeting procedures
  • Gather the facts and respond in a balanced, well-prepared manner, demonstrating leadership
  • Manage time more effectively with less activity and more focus on strategic issues
  • Develop an effective approach to managing up
2. Coachee’s Perceptions of the Outcomes:
  • She worked more effectively with her direct reports, addressing the criticisms raised:
    • Rush to make decisions
    • Unwillingness to listen
    • Lack of self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy
    • Disorganization and poor meeting management (meetings became regularly scheduled and held, far more information sharing. more healthy debate of the issues)
    • Micro-management (a challenge in the culture of exceptional focus on detail, starting with the CEO)
    • Need to become more strategic and focused on leadership behaviors.
  • She significantly improved her ability to manage up effectively to a demanding and imperious division president, who praised her progress, acknowledging the challenge of managing up to him.
  • She disciplined herself not to respond too quickly to situations, focusing on:
    • Utilizing her specialists (rather than herself) to gather the data
    • Sensible push-back on requests for immediate information and details;
    • Care in communicating responses to situations.
  • She extricated herself from operating detail, was able to develop strategic relationships across divisions and became involved in industry-wide issues.
  • She rebuilt relationships with direct reports.
3. Coachee’s Focus Going Forward:
  • Self-awareness and raising level of EI
  • Industry awareness, identifying and working on strategic issues
  • Promoting visibility and relationships at highest levels in the company
  • Slowing down and focusing on priorities
  • Fully delegating, balanced with ongoing accountability from direct reports

It worked because he practiced, he prepared for every meeting, he was thoughtful, he was self-analytical, he got feedback on his progress, he became self-aware. And he was totally committed to significantly improving himself.

  • SVP, General Counsel of a major public company
  • Eight direct reports and with customers across the business units
  • Nationally recognized technical specialist in his field
1. Coaching Objectives:

The coaching objectives were as follows:

  • Improve ability to relate to his staff, motivate them
  • Become an effective coach to direct reports
  • Improve ability to attract, develop and retain talent with benchstrength for succession
  • Become better able to embrace change and lead department through change
  • Complete the transition to highly effective leader and manager

Increasing effectiveness with the first three objectives would improve ability to attract retain, build and benchstrength. More delegation and freedom from unnecessary operational involvement would facilitate focus on the bigger picture and the leadership challenges.

2. Coachee’s Perceptions of the Outcomes:
  • He’s backed off the interrogation style of a lawyer.
  • He’s catching people doing things right.
  • He’s giving positive feedback.
  • He’s been far less picky with unimportant things.
  • He’s allowing his direct reports to be far more prominent in presentations.
  • He’s not correcting his direct reports in front of clients.
  • Instead of telling direct reports what they’re doing wrong, he’s asking them what they think they could have done differently.
  • He is working harder at listening.
  • He is pushing far more responsibility downwards and finding he has more time to be thoughtful and strategic.
  • He’s trying to be more patient.
  • He is working at being more personable.
3. Coachee’s Focus Going Forward:
  • Increasing approachability and being personable
  • Creating ownership and a vested interest in projects
  • Motivating good feeling about what direct reports are doing
  • Providing ongoing feedback
  • Finding development opportunities
  • Not sweating the small stuff

When coaching for success, here are some key points to remember:
  • Do the diagnostics – the homework!
  • Talk to the people – direct reports, peers, manager, and internal customers – and read the most recent 360.
  • What are the derailers? What actions, behaviors or attitudes are getting in the way of success?
  • Read More→

Executive Coaching Consulting Training Diagnostics