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Becoming an Organizational Leader

A consumer products company appointed a senior research fellow to head its entire research and development division. Could the company’s top scientist and academic researcher, who had never managed a staff of more than twenty, make the transition to effectively manage hundreds of people in his division?

The Challenge

Soon after his appointment to head the research and development division, this executive realized that the difficulty of this new role exceeded his expectations. New administrative tasks and issues among staff members consumed huge amounts of time. Little time or energy remained for the pure research he had enjoyed for so much of his career. He began to question the organization’s decision to place so much of the company’s future in his hands. At that point, the company asked Career Partners International to help the executive become acclimated to his new role.

The Career Partner International Solution

Working with one of Career Partners International’s expert coaches, the executive was able to articulate his career goals and division objectives. Then, using a combination of feedback from a 360-degree survey and structured interviews with his colleagues, the Career Partners International coach identified the executive’s key strengths and areas for improvement. While none of the findings was a big surprise to the executive, it provided focus for the development strategy which he defined with the help of his Career Partners International coach. That strategy called for him to:

  • Delegate several major tasks to senior managers both to advance the projects and to provide developmental opportunities for those managers,
  • Network with managers from other divisions to better understand how his own division fit into the larger corporate strategy, and
  • Use a town meeting format, including question and answer sessions, to regularly communicate within the division.

The Results

Once the executive aligned his activities to suit his new responsibilities, his discomfort with the new position dissipated. The executive found the job less stressful and more rewarding, while the company benefited from a more effective organizational leader.

To learn more about how your company can improve leader effectiveness and other talent management strategies, please call 913.322.0618.