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Coaching and Multi-Source Feedback

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Case Study: Sam Agagarian

Sam Agagarian was for many years CEO of a very large human service agency—I will call it the Human Service Center (HSC)— located in an urban region of the Pacific Northwest. He served as CEO of HSC for twelve years and brought his organization to a place where it was thriving financially and had received many national awards as a “healthy” place in which to work and in which to receive services. Sam came to his 360 Degree feedback and the supporting executive coaching process not as a colleague who was in trouble, but as someone who wanted to sustain and further improve his performance as an organizational leader.

How Did I Get Involved?

I received a call several years ago from a colleague who had recently graduated from a senior level certification program I conducted. I knew from conversations with her (I will call her Sara) that Sara was involved in a comprehensive executive coaching program with HSC. She also informed me that HSC had been involved in a large-scale 360 Degree feedback program for many years and that all of the senior level administration of HSC had participated in this program.

Sara indicated to me that all the vice presidents of HSC had recently received feedback from a 360 Degree process and that they all were receiving executive coaching from Sara or one of her colleagues as a way to make this feedback more useful to them. In the past, little was done other than distribute and interpret the 360 results. I was very pleased that she had been able to couple coaching with the 360. Sara then told me that the president and CEO of HSC had not yet engaged in the latest 360 process. She felt uncomfortable conducting this 360 with him or following up with executive coaching to him. Her reticence was based on her concern that she was already coaching many of his subordinates; furthermore, Sara thought Sam would benefit more from a “senior-level” executive coach who could offer both extensive experience and academic credibility. Sara believed that I would be a good fit. I agreed to take on the assignment.

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