An organization veteran, just steps away from promotion, does the tough work required to get to the C-suite.

Ampersand Leadership Group partnered with a leading publishing, education, and media organization to provide coaching for a tremendously talented, long-tenured Operations leader. To be considered for promotion, she needed to better align with the polished, results-oriented culture of the organization and its C-suite.

Confronting the challenge: What we knew

The $12B, privately held enterprise was growing steadily, but faced serious challenges in an ever-competitive business environment. This executive was on the path to become COO during a time of significant transformation. There was hesitation from leadership about bringing her to the table; her passion was unquestioned, but there was a need for her to act more strategically and develop a more mature executive presence.

Ampersand’s approach

We spent time determining the key objectives for the coaching relationship, with input from the executive, the sitting COO, and 360° feedback gathered from direct reports and key colleagues. Our consultant and the executive engaged in 18 months of high-impact Executive Coaching.

Discovery: What we found

It was critical that she maintain her authentic self without diminishing her impact. This new role would require more scanning of the environment and strategic anticipation. She would also need a stronger relationship and partnership with the CFO.

Her Ampersand coach spent time enabling tough conversations and direct dialogue between the leader and her future boss. They focused on creating opportunities for broader organizational and industry exposure to deepen her knowledge and establish her contribution as a potential COO.

Outcomes: What we contributed

  • After 30 years as part of the organization, she successfully rebranded herself without losing the candor and authenticity that everyone loved.
  • She was promoted to COO in less than a year and led a very difficult operating transformation and company-wide reorganization.
  • We have continued to partner with her to complete her assimilation into the role of COO, provide follow-up coaching, and engage additional 360° feedback to ensure the change is sustainable.
  • The CEO acknowledged our consultant thusly: “If what you did there is the only thing you did in your career; you have made a huge difference.”

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