Change driving style

Change driving style

Among the leaders of an important market company, Raluca * was one of the most influential. Determined and direct, she always knew how to deal with a difficult situation, how to overcome a moment of crisis and, most importantly, how to lead her employees. She knew how to give feedback to everyone, in any situation, which made a significant contribution to the success of her department. Her style of leadership was complemented by her desire to have the last word, often going over the opinions of others. At the same time, employees were appalled by the idea of working closely with her, not just because of her decisive and firm style, but also because of the pressure put on by Raluca. Always driven by results and demands, Raluca was demanding more and more from employees and considered that the best way to put this into evidence was for them to work like her.

At some point, being involved in a rather important project and in need of additional help, she had to hire an assistant. After many searches and recommendations, she found a good assistant. Shortly afterwards, she had explained to him exactly what to do, what she wanted him to achieve, as usual, over the proposals and suggestions he had received. The new employee, unfamiliar with her style of driving, began to explain to her that the purpose of the plan she proposed would not be the way she expects, explaining what its minuses are. Raluca insisted on the idea she proposed, suggesting she knows better than him how the company works. Eventually, the assistant had to execute Raluca’s plan, but he wanted to give her feedback on their collaboration and the way she “dictated” any decision. Raluca did not think she had done wrong in any way, arguing that he was exaggerating. As a leader, Raluca was the one who had all the information, made all the decisions, led all the trials and all came to her. Two months later, Raluca’s plan proved to be, indeed, the wrong one. Raluca was advised by the General Manager to work with a coach to change her leading style, which had begun to stop producing the desired results.

Raluca trained for 6 months and made some major changes in her leadership way: she made the transition from an authoritative style, always in control, centered on finding mistakes and taking them out, to a pragmatic style, efficient leadership, by allowing others to participate with ideas and solutions. She learned to give feedback and accept feedback from others. She has learned to allow the circulation of information, responsibility and creativity in the team. But the most important achievement for Raluca was that she learned to take time for herself, her family and friends.

* Customer confidentiality is an important working principle in my coaching practice; all case studies do not reveal the identity of the clients, organization or industry in which they act.