Joe Casey, Principal & Executive Coach
Leadership is more challenging than ever. The world of work today is increasingly complex, fast-paced, and dynamic. To deliver stellar results, leaders need to be expert at motivating multiple teams, stakeholders, and external partners, all with their competing priorities and demands. Getting things done in a highly connected, collaborative, and perpetually evolving space takes a higher-level skill set, including emotional intelligence, influencing, and listening skills.
A company called Princeton Executive Coaching (PEC) has been in the industry for more than a decade coaching executives and helping them to take their leadership games to the next level. “We focus on developing leaders by helping them unlock insights about themselves, translate them into practical actions and gain traction with a focused blueprint to enhance their organization’s performance,” says Joe Casey, Principal at Princeton Executive Coaching.
The company guides leaders to become self-aware of the interdependences that are critical to their success, learn how to fully leverage their strengths, and how to mute specific behaviors that may be getting in their way. PEC helps clients tune in to the emotional aspects of leadership and get them working in their favor as a positive force rather than as a constraint. To help clients zero in on impactful areas of improvement, the company uses a structured three-step process.
PEC starts by gathering confidential data using assessment tools and in-depth 360-degree interviews. “Leaders thrive on data. Focusing on data first gives them a clear picture of their strengths in action, what they’re doing right and where there are specific areas to take things to the next level, along with a look at what drives their behavior,” adds Casey.
In the next phase, they help clients craft a strategic development plan with targeted action steps against each area of opportunity. Next, they collaboratively design a series of pilots and experiments to test and refine new approaches. “Coaching is a learning process, and experienced people learn best by doing and then by having a structured way of reflecting on what they’re observing and fine-tuning their behavior along the way,” Casey explains. In the last phase, the leaders incorporate those changes into their ongoing operating styles. PEC does follow-up interviews to measure progress and creates a forward plan to sustain it after the coaching process.
Coaching is a learning process, and experienced people learn best by doing and then by having a structured way of reflecting on what they’re observing and fine-tuning their behavior along the way
PEC recently coached a leader who is a highly-respected expert in his field but was having difficulty working collaboratively with peers on the executive leadership team. The coaching process helped him learn that his focus on facts, data, and his rationale was getting in the way of his peer relationships. His style prevented them from hearing him. Through the coaching process, he worked on listening first before opening, tested different ways of positioning his opinions, and saw that “How” he communicates matters as much, if not more than “What” he communicates. The result was more open communication, less unnecessary conflict, and greater receptiveness to his ideas.
“Often, coaching takes place in a ‘Black Box.’ Our process includes three facilitated check-ins with the coachee and their manager, so the coachee has opportunities to share what he or she is learning, get ongoing feedback and ensure that they are aligned with their boss while honoring confidentiality,” adds Casey.
Its sister company, Retirement Wisdom, helps executives prepare for their Second Act after their corporate careers. People are living longer and working longer. Many senior leaders are interested in planning for an active life in retirement, which often includes work in some way. “After a corporate career, people seek a new purpose and preparing for What’s Next is a wise investment,” concludes Casey.