A common reason someone leaves a job is because of their boss. In fact, research indicates that people leave heads, not companies. I could be incredibly happy doing my job every day and maybe I would love the salary and benefits, but if my supervisor makes my life uncomfortable and I have the option to leave, I will. No one wants to work for a bad boss.
But do organizations recognize that they may have a bad head, and if they do, are they willing to do anything to fix the situation? This is where we see many companies fail.
I know a company that hired a new vice president, Joe, from another company. Two years later, about a third of Joe’s unit staff had left. Human Resources people offered the workers an exit interview, but few were willing to talk about why they were leaving. The few who did, however, blamed Joe. They set example after example of their lack of clear expectations. So people did what they thought was expected and then it was the weight of Joe’s temper when he didn’t get what he thought he had asked for. At some point, it became apparent that Joe was the problem.
Instead of firing Joe, however, the company hired an executive coach to train him.
Here’s what I know about working with a coach: Joe has to be coachable. Coaches can only work miracles or even move forward when the coach is willing to listen and work to improve.