(Note: Names and other identifiers were changed to protect the confidentiality of my client.)
William is a Senior VP for Sales and Marketing at a major consumer products company. When we first met he felt severely restrained in his career because of a chronic lack of confidence. Despite a talent for forging great relationships with team members, clients, and key partners within his industry, William struggled to communicate up the organizational ladder within his own company hierarchy.
He also had difficulty delegating and had a tendency to just do things himself – lacking confidence in his ability to inspire commitments and accountability from others. So the people reporting to him shouldered less responsibility while he carried too much of the stressful burden. Thatlack of faith in himself further undermined his attempts to sell his own value to senior decision makers. Whenever he had a chance to showcase his contributions he faltered because he did not like to toot his own horn.
I related to him, because early in my career I felt the same way. I was great with people but too introverted to step up and lead. The recognition I deserved passed me by because I was shy about self-promotion. Fortunately, that motivated me to create my Predictable Promotion System – which catapulted me to the highest ranks of a Fortune 100 company in record time. That’s why I immediately saw that what William really needed most was a more assertive and credible executive presence.
William wanted to revitalize the company’s sales figures and grow its market share. He saw the potential to lead it away from an attitude of keeping up with the status quo to a positive mindset of raising the bar and becoming a dominant competitor in the industry. He had the vision and the desire. What he needed was a brand that resonated with those leadership attributes. His lack of palpable executive presence was the main thing holding him back. He committed to the process with me and I got to work designing a customized one-on-one executive development program. Together we worked on concrete, step-by-step strategies and techniques to raise the level of his perceived value by amping-up his corporate leadership presence.
The first thing I did with Jennifer, for example, was a thorough professional assessment. From the start she had a clear, positive, forward-looking blueprint to success – and a way to measure progress and keep me accountable as her coach. I saw to it that Jennifer knew her problem areas, but did it in an encouraging way. As she became more aware of perceived weaknesses she also become stronger, more well-rounded, and more confident. That’s because I coupled my observations with individualized solutions tailored to her unique needs and goals.
First we devoted several sessions to reframing his outlook. He often explained things from a negative, destined-to-fail perspective. He would say, “I don’t have the right skills, don’t have the answers, don’t have the educational background,” and that sort of thing. By incorporating mindset management strategies, however, that corrosive negative self-talk was reversed and replaced with an internal power generator of positive, “can do” messages. No longer was he talking himself out of being the best. Instead he was tapping into the virtually unlimited resource of the subconscious mind to empower his self-assurance and focus with sharp clarity and bold confidence.
That newfound internal empowerment enabled us to set realistic short and long-term goals defined by William’s big-picture strategic vision for himself, his team, and his company. The clear articulation of benchmarks and goals subsequently made it easier for him to share his ideas with his superiors, and they were impressed and inspired by his fresh perspective and passion. They began to support him with internal and external team training, and as he leveraged those resources into sustainable growth his leadership ability became evident to everyone in the organization. The numbers spoke for themselves, elevating his team from mediocre to high-performance. They racked-up a 40% year-over-year improvement in sales. During the same timeframe growth of previously untapped market share through new contracts rose at a phenomenal rate of approximately 190%.
During the course of our sessions together William was rewarded by his company with oversight of the whole marketing department and broader exposure and positioning with outside vendors. His compensation package was drastically increased through a combination of financial bonuses and new executive leadership responsibilities. He was asked to represent his organization at industry events for top senior executives, too. He took advantage of that rare opportunity to build and strengthen the new brand I helped him craft – using strategic professional networking and the cultivation of key relationships.
William’s internalized lack of confidence was gone and in its place was someone viewed by his colleagues as a role model and by his superiors as a positive change agent and innovator. Now William is not only a mentor within his company but throughout his industry, and he has firmly established a high level of respect from his team members. They know that he is going to challenge them beyond their perceived limitations but that he will be there as their coach – not just their boss – to ensure their own career success.