The Best Way to Learn Is By Example
The Case Examples Below Provide an Idea Of How Allan Cox Can Have Your CEO Leading By Example.
The new CEO of a $6-billion sales manufacturing company with a dominant market share hired Allan Cox to help him deal with tensions between his board and the top executive team. A gap had developed between the two bodies, one the CEO wanted to bridge. Coaching led to (1) separating the sheep from the goats on the CEO’s team, (2) the team’s clearly stating its point of view at board meetings, and (3) eliciting the best collaborative efforts from an astute board.
”At the end of a follow-on board retreat, one of the directors observed, ”A year ago, you people got a C- in my book. Today it’s an A.”
Professional Sports Franchise
A profitable NFL franchise had formed an unusual ownership arrangement: 10 owners, including the CEO, each had a 10 per cent equity position. All 10 had amassed personal fortunes from their extraordinary business careers, with egos to match. How could such a talented and outspoken group possibly forge a united path to success?
Cox was retained. After getting to know all these high-talent, high-spirited members during in-depth interviews, he designed and facilitated an offsite board meeting where candor prevailed and commonalities emerged. The team on the field enjoyed several winning seasons, and was then sold, adding significantly to each owner’s net worth.
Hospital and Healthcare
The largest and most respected specialty multi-hospital system of its kind in the world (according to US News & World Report) enjoyed an enviably energetic and prominent board. Over a 15-year period, the board has frequently engaged Allan Cox to coach its CEOs. The result: (1) CEOs who know their board supports them, and (2) a board that leaves no stone unturned when it comes to enhancing the performance of the hospital.
The board of a heavy industry manufacturer respected the company’s CEO, but not the performance of his top team. Cox coached both the board and CEO, opening all eyes to the subtle ways in which the board had unwittingly contributed to a less-than-ideal management situation. As a result, the company’s performance improved and its stock quadrupled, despite a lackluster market.
One of the major growth cities in the western U.S. wanted to resolve a paradox. How do you attract talented workers and scientists to a burgeoning high-tech industry base while at the same time avoiding urban sprawl? The President/CEO of the regional economic development corporation asked Cox to facilitate a board and top team retreat led by its new Chairman who hoped to make a major contribution to resolving the paradox. After the session, the Chairman relished the alignment the board had achieved at the retreat. This bodes well for the organization’s efforts to promote its positions on upcoming referendums and regional initiatives.
A resourceful telecom company in the Midwest began its life in 1894. Starting as a regional telephone operation, it had flourished into a diversified communications services provider doing business in 40 states. The CEO retained Cox to help the company reclaim its uniqueness after a period of rapid growth. Over a six-month period the company completed a project that engaged all 1400 employees in a compelling new mission. On July 22, 2005, 111 years after its modest beginnings, the CEO rang the bell on the NASDAQ when his company went public.
A large urban church in downtown Chicago had bucked the trend of membership decline and participation that’s typical of like houses of worship nationwide. Its leaders sought to keep this momentum in full swing and counseled with Cox. He suggested the church engage in developing a mission that would involve the entire membership in its creation, approval and enactment. Cox facilitated the process over an eight-month period, and the view from staff and parishioners is that this was a galvanizing experience for developing and enlarging key church ministries.
The opening sentence of the mission statement, crafted by a sub-committee, is one the members find brief, inspiring and memorable: We are a light in the city, reflecting the inclusive love of God.