What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

Written by Melissa Kessler, MA, PCC

I just completed a year-long coaching engagement with a very talented engineer, leader, contract manager, mother, and all around super star. Nina Batie is a Lead Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and has worked there for 12 years. In order to advance her career to the next level, she took the initiative to hire me as her coach to identify and overcome blind spots. I am a former Booz Allen employee who understands her world in that consulting environment, which Nina felt was important.

We started our coaching engagement with some self-assessments and a 360-degree feedback assessment, so Nina could better understand her style and preferences in how she works, communicates, makes decisions, manages conflict, and interacts with others. We also identified her strengths, areas of development, and blind spots in how she is perceived by others. Nina identified early on that two areas would be most important for her to focus on during the coaching in order to move to the next level and be more effective in her current position. First, Nina needed to delegate more. Second, she needed to communicate more effectively.

After identifying these coaching goals, I helped Nina pinpoint the actions she needed to take on a regular basis in order to achieve them. She identified several very effective actions, which she implemented weekly. However, what made a transformational shift in Nina was discovering and changing her thoughts and beliefs around delegating and communicating. Shifting her beliefs in these areas has made all the difference for Nina. She now believes that she can’t do it all by herself, nor should she. She also demonstrates very effective delegation, by clearly communicating and clarifying her expectations with team members. In addition, she learned that asking for help and communicating early on about potential problems are expected and viewed as strengths at Booz Allen.

In our final review with her supervisors, they were thoroughly impressed with Nina’s success and how much she has grown as a leader over the past year. She now has a greater understanding of her path to next-level promotion, but more importantly, she has transformed into a new person who is re-energized to realize her full potential. It’s truly been an honor and a joy to work with Nina, and I’m so excited to see what she does next.

What got you here, won’t get you there.” – Marshall Goldsmith

“Great leaders encourage leadership development by openly developing themselves.” – Marshall Goldsmith

 “Change is not a one-way street. It involves two parties: the person who is changing and the people who notice it.” – Marshall Goldsmith

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