DREAM Workplace helps a Division President turn avert a volatile mutiny in the making.
We were tasked by a major multi-billion dollar energy firm to help Mike, the president of one of the company’s business divisions. Mike had come from a very successful entrepreneurial background and was a very strong hands-on “get-it-done” executive. However, because of pressure from corporate headquarters and shareholder performance expectations, Mike had a problem of redirecting his own tension and anxiety toward his VPs and their teams. Mike hands-on approach caused him to frequently circumvent each of his department VPs and go directly to their direct reports to question and critique their decisions and ideas. During meetings Mike would rapid fire questions and his “better” ideas at the presenter which usually invoked defensive behavior, embarrassment, and resentment. All of this culminated in creating a volatile tension-filled environment. Trust, morale, and performance was at an unprecedented low point.Furthermore because of Mike’s “get-done-no-matter-what-it-takes”attitude, there were certain key people in the organization who had a vehement disdain for him.
We began by meeting with all of the key personnel within the business unit to get honest feedback and gain a better assessment of the situation. Over a period of four months we helped Mike recognize the disenfranchising behavior he was routinely exhibiting and the negative impact it was having on others. We guided offended parties through the process of sharing with Mike how his behavior had made them feel.We coached him through the process of making sincere apologies, deferring to his VPs rather than going around them, and providing encouragement rather than relentless scrutiny, criticism, and one-upmanship. It wasn’t easy but through Mike’s sustained commitment and the team’s willingness and goodwill, things began to change for the better.
As a result observable progress, even among Mike’s harshest critics, a major shift began to occur. Adversarial attitudes began to become more accommodating. One of the most powerful results was not just the changes that began occurring with Mike but also within the hearts and minds of those who had formerly opposed and resisted his leadership. A new infinitely more positive workplace culture was created. Mike kept his job and everyone began to enjoy work again. Mike even commented that his wife and family had noticed a significant improvement in his behavior at home.
After the project was concluded, the Vice President of Human Resources commented, “The approach we were using prior to enlisting DREAM Workplace’s help would have never delivered the results that you all were able to achieve.”