Moving from Tactical to Strategic Drivers


The board of directors of a global supplier to the entertainment/media sector requested a review of the leadership competencies of its incumbent CEO.  The organization was facing significant disruption in the market that made it necessary for management to move away from its usual operational focus and adopt a more strategic approach. The purpose of the evaluation was to identify possible areas for development and to provide recommendations on relevant executive coaching and skills-based training that could assist the incumbent CEO in making a successful transition.  The incumbent had held the CEO position for more than 6 years.


The board was divided in its expectations of the CEO role and the incumbent’s ability to move from an operational to a strategic focus to drive the future of the company.  Without a unilateral agreement on the necessary skills, capabilities and responsibilities for the role it became apparent that the position would forever be at risk as board consensus would remain divided. It was necessary to devise an evaluation plan that was both balanced and measurable while satisfying the diverse opinions of board members and to be fair and equitable in its process.


The incumbent was administered two assessments: a development assessment to determine innate characteristics and to identify traits synonymous with executive leadership; and a 360° Feedback assessment where both the incumbent, internal staff, customers, and board members rated the incumbent’s performance from each rater’s perspective.  The incumbent was assessed on 19 competencies that best reflect executive capabilities. In addition, the CEO was interviewed regarding his work history, professional background, relevant experience, hard and soft skills, and both his cultural fit and overall fit with the existing role and anticipated future role.


The 3 evaluation components – Development Report, 360° Feedback Report, and In-depth Personal Interview Report formed the basis for the creation of a profile of the incumbent with possible areas for development.  This process resulted in recommendations to the board for executive coaching and skills training to address identified performance limitations and to ensure the CEO’s future success.