Partnership for Coaching Excellence and Personal Leadership
Many years ago, I led a small team at a large firm-a spoke in the wheel as they say. While I came from a military background, this was one of my first opportunities to lead in a corporate environment and I was excited. My team of five young, capable leaders was responsible for providing strategic insight to a $1 billion-plus business. It was a great opportunity for me to prove myself as a leader.
When I first took over this group our division had just launched a major new product, and by all accounts, it was not going well. Not at all. Our volume was off and we were missing across most key metrics for success. A young manager on my team, let’s call her “Sarah,” was responsible for the business tracking and strategic insights for this new product launch. She regularly reported results to senior management, and she felt the stress of the situation.
As I coached Sarah during our one-on-one meetings, I would try to provide my best advice, make suggestions on how to analyze data in different ways, and be as supportive as possible. I thought I could be a source of humor to relieve some of the daily tension from all the senior management “help” we were getting. I would often try to laugh at the absurdity of the situation with her, which for me included a bit of cynicism at what was happening around us. I figured if anything she would know that I had her back and we’d be a team in getting through this.
Man, was I Wrong