Authors: Angela M. Airall, MBA and Lucy S. Dubin, PhD
In this article, we gain insights from two seasoned Executive Coaches based on a case study showing that great minds can think differently
A Manager with a global pharmaceutical firm was recently transferred from the New Jersey worldwide headquarters to the European head office in Germany. This is the first international assignment with the firm. It is intended as a developmental opportunity for this high-potential employee who has exceeded business goals with strong results during his three years with the company.
The Manager, Manoel, is intellectually gifted, ambitious, and has an MBA from a top-tier university. He wants to develop his leadership skills in order to move up in the company. Manoel is originally from Brazil. He joined the company through its highly selective MBA-hire program. The two-year post to Germany is to lead a project team in conducting due diligence for a critical acquisition.
Three months into Manoel’s assignment, comments are streaming into the Head of Business Development about his work. The tenor is generally negative. Although brilliant, feedback indicates there are issues. During team meetings, one-on-one discussions and in work with peers, he is perceived as arrogant, dismissive and takes credit for others’ work. Further, when anyone inquires about the status of the project, Manoel is evasive. Multiple project team members report that he lacks leadership to foster teamwork and technical knowledge on how to lead a project.
The Head of Business Development and the Talent Director, both Germans, are concerned about the remarks. They issue a Request for Proposal to an external coaching network asking for a customized process to help the Manager urgently improve.
Your firm is awarded the mandate. What is your strategy?