A long-running CEO of a multinational company helps to facilitate the merger of his firm with a larger company … and then decides to move on to the next adventure. Is this a job for an outplacement service? Or might that CEO benefit from the support of an Executive Coach? Here’s what happened for that CEO…in his own words.
Why an Executive Coach?
Guest Post by M.F.
In 2017, following a merger, I left the multinational company I was with for 27 years. I was the CEO of their North American operations for the past 11 years. From 2012 to 2016 we had an extraordinary run and the North American results were stellar. My termination was amicable.
In June 2017 I took four months off, after which I decided to look for my next opportunity. This was new territory for me. I had no resume, no on-line
presence. My professional network was extensive, but I did not know how best to communicate my new status.
I had met Lenann McGookey Gardner of Lenann McGookey Gardner Management Consulting, Inc. three years before, as she helped our company audit the quality
of our sales team. Following a brief discussion, she offered to assist me as an Executive Coach, convincing me that my new task was very similar to
the ultimate sales job.
I decided to forego outplacement services and work exclusively with Lenann to help me decide my next steps and how to go about taking them.
Now, one year later, I am an independent consultant with a strong book of business. I am content, intellectually satisfied and my life is significantly
better than when I was a senior executive. How did Lenann help me get there?
- Lenann forced me to remain focused by insisting on a thorough review of my progress in the job search on a weekly basis.
- She insisted on developing KPIs for the job search: How many key people are in your network, and how many have you contacted this week and to date?
- Lenann also insisted that I focus on having actual meetings rather than just communicating via email. This is absolutely key.
- She urged me to go to a number of industry conferences, forcing me “to get out there,” not always the most comfortable thing to do.
- After a few months we developed an opportunity pipeline template, and she would ask on our regular calls what the next step for each was and whether an opportunity was still live or should be closed. As of today, the pipeline of opportunities is quite extensive.
- Lenann was also very helpful building my resume and LinkedIn profile. This was a lengthy, iterative process. Her input was very good. It was only after a few months that we had a product worth sharing with the world. The wait was worth it.
- Lenann shares key relevant articles and new research in my field, and on the topics of job search, relevant HR issues and thought-provoking leadership topics. This is generally practical, useful information; she wants me to be up to speed. And she quizzes me on those articles.
- Of course, we would prepare together for interviews and key meetings, and debrief them to discuss the way forward.
- Finally, Lenann has helped me price my services as a consultant.
The above steps may seem trivial, but they were not. An Executive Coach such as Lenann provides organization and focus and allows you to vent frustrations without the inevitable emotional content if you did your venting with a spouse or partner. Lenann also helped me realize that life is non-linear, that prejudices abound and that the digital world’s job search tools, which are so comfortable because they are so easy to use and somewhat anonymous, provide only a small portion of the tools needed for success.
The Executive Coach’s personality is key. Lenann needed to provide direction to an opinionated senior executive. She has the ability to handle strong personalities,
remained at all times very professional but if needed was firm, especially about meeting deadlines and reviewing KPIs. It helps that she herself has
held senior executive roles, and that she advises many, so her connection to the business world is fresh. Weekly calls with her force a discipline
in the search and her mentoring was helpful because it was thoughtful, practical, rooted in the real world and never condescending.
Working with an Executive Coach, as one launches a job search, was not obvious to me. With hindsight I am very satisfied to work with a coach of Lenann’s
With her help, I easily transitioned out of the unemployed phase. I am now in full control of my new circumstances.
What do you think? Could the type of support this CEO received help you take full control of your career? What other ideas might work? Comment below or scroll down to schedule a time to brainstorm!