Bolder Leadership - Suzanne Levy

Case Studies

Nationwide public relations firm

Chief Executive Officer

MANAGED: A recognized national public relations firm

ISSUE: Overworked. Reacted emotionally to issues related to firm partners, while at the same time tolerating subpar work.

BOLDER APPROACH: Identified internal issues holding CEO back from making appropriate personal and professional decisions; rooted out the cause of her tolerance for others’ subpar work and refocused her on her own professional purpose and organizational objectives. Trained CEO on eliminating drama at work, as well as rediscovering an outside purpose that would draw her out of the office.

RESULT: CEO removed two partners; made critical financial/business decisions (including merging with another firm); and enhanced professional relationships, leadership skills, and business development. CEO discovered an outside passion—ballroom dancing—and has written a book, Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO. Read an excerpt from the book citing the impact of the Bolder approach here.

Global publisher

Senior Vice President, Operations

MANAGED: Multibillion-dollar global direct marketing division

ISSUE: SVP suffered from a rigid, controlling management style. Needed to empower team, shift toward more strategic thinking and take a more active role as part of the executive team.

BOLDER APPROACH: Coached SVP to better demonstrate innate strengths and latent leadership qualities. Increased SVP’s flexibility to, and understanding of, different work styles, as well as her ability to coach/mentor staff. Bolstered SVP’s capacity to delegate responsibilities and turn her focus toward strategy and improving executive team relationships.

RESULTS: SVP coached three directors to become VPs in one year, which led to additional staff promotions within their teams. SVP became one of the most influential players on the executive team and became a major support for new executive team members.

Leading property casualty insurer

Vice President, Regional Sales

MANAGED: Sales territory for global insurance/financial services firm

ISSUE: VP’s sales region ranked the worst in the country.

BOLDER APPROACH: Designed far-reaching goals and action plan. Enhanced VP’s ability to inspire and motivate sales team. Provided VP with tools necessary to conduct one-on-one sales team coaching. Boosted communications skills to make meetings with regional leaders more results-oriented.

RESULT: Within one year, VP elevated his region to Traveler’s No. 1 sales territory in the U.S. and was awarded two new states.

Big Four accounting firm

Senior Director, Partner Candidate, Accounting

MANAGED: Oversees audit and advisory services for a global accounting firm

ISSUE: SD was one of youngest female candidates for partner. Although she was passed over once for lack of definitive leadership, she exhibited high, yet undeveloped, potential.

BOLDER APPROACH: Focused on building up SD’s leadership presence and confidence. Trained SD on exhibiting ownership of her role, responsibility and capacity. Strengthened communication and business development skills. Role-played for partner interview.

RESULT: SD was affirmed as the number one candidate and became a partner that same year.

Worldwide beverage company

Vice President, Conversion and Global Technology

MANAGED: Information technology at the global beverage/spirits organization

ISSUE: VP was afraid to speak up and be a bold leader, even as the global executive team asked him for more contribution and leadership.

BOLDER APPROACH: Aided VP in identifying and eliminating harmful mental models around low self-image and fear of making mistakes. Coached VP toward greater self-confidence and empowerment around decision-making and managing projects and staff.

RESULT: VP gained visible courage in staking positions and making decisions. He challenged the prevailing viewpoint to win approval for a $20 million IT systems improvement project that saved the organization millions during the recession.

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