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  • Writer's pictureShari Gibbons

Case Study: Executive Coaching Positions CEO for Growth and Enhanced Quality of Life

This is a real case study with fictional names to protect client confidentiality.

Client: Sarah Jones, CEO of Learn Bright, a professional training services organization.

Challenge: Sarah, who built Learn Bright from a $13 million to a $70 million company, felt overwhelmed and depleted of energy.

Despite the company's success, she reported high stress levels and difficulty finding time to fulfill all her commitments.

Additionally, Learn Bright was poised for a new phase of growth, requiring Sarah to transition from a primarily internal focus to a more outwardly facing role.

This growth phase would demand strategic partnerships, industry collaboration, and skills she hadn't necessarily needed before. Delegating more responsibility to her team was now essential, but her previous leadership style relied heavily on her own direct involvement.

Coaching Engagement: Sarah partnered with Shari Bowles Gibbons of Anderson Lane and Associates for a six-month engagement focused on reducing her overwhelm, regaining her energy, and developing the leadership skills necessary for Learn Bright's next chapter.

Key Interventions:

·       Self-Awareness: The coaching helped Sarah identify her strengths and weaknesses as a leader, particularly her tendency towards micromanagement and workaholism.


·       Time Management: Through time management exercises and delegation strategies, Sarah re-prioritized her tasks and empowered her team. She used Shari as a sounding board to explore strategies for balancing this new outwardly facing schedule with internal responsibilities.


·       Goal Setting: Together, Sarah and Shari established both professional and personal goals, including delegating more tasks, scheduling regular time for exercise, and pursuing a long-held passion for travel. Additionally, we set goals for developing the skills needed for external engagement, such as executive presence and strategic negotiation.


·       Mindset Shift: The coaching sessions focused on cultivating a growth mindset and reframing challenges as opportunities for learning and development. This included exploring her anxieties about delegating and fostering a more collaborative leadership style.


Leadership Development: The coaching program expanded to include Sarah’s executive team, to coach and develop her executive team, empowering them to take on more responsibility and leadership roles within Learn Bright.


·       Quality of Life: At the beginning of the engagement, Sarah's quality-of-life score was measured using a standardized assessment tool. By the end of the six months, her score had increased by a remarkable 2.5 times.


·       Work-Life Balance: Sarah reported feeling significantly less stressed and more in control of her time. She successfully implemented delegation strategies and carved out time for exercise, meditation, and personal activities.


·       Improved Leadership: By letting go of micromanagement and empowering her team, Sarah fostered a more engaged and productive work environment. Additionally, her coaching approach helped her executive team develop their leadership capacity, taking on more responsibility and alleviating some of the burden of growth from her shoulders.


·       Successful Outward Expansion: Sarah's newly developed skills in communication, negotiation, and strategic thinking allowed her to successfully cultivate strategic partnerships and industry collaborations, propelling Learn Bright's new phase of growth. Interestingly, despite focusing on work-life balance, Learn Bright's revenue continued to grow throughout the coaching engagement.

Conclusion: This case study demonstrates the powerful impact of executive coaching on leadership effectiveness, overall well-being, and navigating organizational growth. By addressing Sarah's specific challenges and fostering self-awareness, the coaching program not only improved her quality of life but also equipped her with the skills and mindset necessary to lead Learn Bright to continued success in its next chapter.

NOTE: This is a real case study with fictional names to protect client confidentiality.


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