A major international media company with nearly 100,000 employees appointed a new head of corporate center tasked with identifying under-performing units in each division. His position was tenuous, and he needed to win trust and buy-in from each divisional CEO to accomplish his goal.
Working confidentially, TAI realized the new leader needed to communicate his own goals and win over the CEOs. First, we learned who he was as a leader, his motivations, values and beliefs. Concurrently, we identified the motivations, concerns and leadership styles of the division heads, working out the most effective way to approach each CEO.
Once the Head of Corporate had a sense of his own leadership, and a clearly defined personal platform, as well as a sense of the values of the CEOs, he gained the confidence to work with the division heads to identify the business units that needed restructuring. And it worked.
The Results: Trust Gained, Goals Met
The Head of Corporate attributed successful buy-in from the CEOs to the platform building and communications coaching he got from his partnership with TAI. He was able to work with the once suspicious CEOs and identify 25 under-performing operations. In less than two years, several broke even, several more became profitable, and the few in the red performed considerably better. None of which would have been possible without active support from the CEOs. Building trusting relationships was vital to gaining an honest assessment of under-performing units and the steps needed to turn them around.
In the middle of this turnaround, the company’s CEO was replaced by one of the divisional CEOs. Quiet and reserved, he was not the obvious choice. We were asked to help the new CEO prepare to talk to his staff for the first time about his plans for the future. We started investigating what was important to this CEO, what were the messages he wanted to get across, what were the themes and why are they so important to him? What was his personal mandate and how could he communicate this to a large audience in an inspiring and motivating way. This first speech was extremely well received and international press coverage was positive. He won the backing of the executive team. Our work with the CEO has since continued and expanded to include other members of that executive team.