Executive Success through Demonstrated Leadership
You have done all the hard work, earned a top spot, and are working in a leadership role. Your experience and skills are deep, but are you successfully communicating that knowledge to others? The more successful you become, the subtler the differences are between you and your competition. When you use your voice as a tool for success, you rise above the others.
These client success stories demonstrate how Anna has helped executives improve their communications skills and sound like confident, knowledgeable leaders:
PROBLEM: Philip was recently promoted to a director position at a large software company. He was having trouble establishing his leadership credentials. His teams were either ignoring him or turning in incomplete projects. He often projected a nice and helpful demeanor, then suddenly became angry with them when they didn't perform.
SOLUTION: I taught Philip how to use consistent language and messaging to reflect his leadership. I wrote scripts for his emails and his meetings. These scripts laid out his expectations, and how he planned to follow up. He then did exactly what he had described. He became less focused on being “nice” and more focused on providing specific goals for his teams.
RESULT: Within three weeks, everything turned around. The teams responded well to the specific language Philip used. When he followed up as expected, so did they. Even the most renegade team changed their colors. The reason? When Philip behaved consistently, it become obvious that they were the ones dropping the ball. They couldn't blame Philip for “not telling us the deadline” or when their projects were due.
PROBLEM: Mike was promoted from General Counsel to president of a utility company. His CEO felt that he wasn't connecting with the board during their meetings. He asked me to help Mike create a warmer speaking style and become friendlier with the board.
SOLUTION: Mike was still thinking like a lawyer, and just delivering information to the board. I helped him see the board as cohorts who needed to feel a human connection to him. He worked on eye contact, small talk, and shorter sentences. I also helped him draft emails to the board that reached out on a more personal level to connect with them.
PROBLEM: Murat, a mid-level manager at an engineering firm, was ready to be promoted to the next level. He was ready in every way except one: no one could follow him when he spoke. He took off in several different directions, and by the time he finished, no one could tell what his message was.
SOLUTION: Murat was throwing every idea that crossed his mind into his speech. I helped him see that when he spoke, his goal was to help his listeners understand his message. To be effective at this, he needed to stick to one idea at a time. The extraneous thoughts were not part of his message, and they needed to be left out.
PROBLEM: Sandra, an executive at a publishing house, was getting a reputation as a single-minded, short-tempered person in meetings. People perceived her as not caring about their opinions, and she appeared to be ignoring them when they spoke.
SOLUTION: Sandra was caught up in an issue with her superior, the president of the company. She felt he was always trying to best her in meetings, and set her up as being wrong in front of others. She pre-emptively defended her position in order to combat his approach. I helped Sandra recognize that more communication, not less, was the answer to this problem. She needed to listen without comment to her cohorts. I also suggested that she make a plan to open up lines of communication with her boss.