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Client Profile And Challenge

  • Organization: A global investment bank. Headquartered in the U.S., operates in over 60 countries, and has over 240,000 employees worldwide.

  • Coachee: Chief Compliance Officer of the Investment Banking Services Division.

Our investment banking client reached out to us to coach *Justin, their Chief Compliance Officer who was a lateral hire two years before. He was highly valued, and they wanted to retain him. However, they needed our expertise to help him to adapt his leadership style.

Many people inside and outside of the bank respected this sell-side leader for his subject matter expertise and high ego strength. Some also feared Justin because of his sharp elbows. He built a reputation for being a brilliant compliance expert but difficult to work with at times, particularly with cross-functional teams.

Despite Justin’s track record of helping the investment bank out of potentially difficult and risky situations, some members of the global management team had lower regard for his leadership style.  He was given feedback about his opportunities. Yet, he had not been given a full picture of the impact that his “need to be right” mentality had on his leadership.

The Solution

A 9-month executive coaching engagement following TLS Leaders’ methodology which included:

  • A coaching team comprised of the Coachee, Coach, Coachee’s leader and Human Resources Business Partner.

  • Coaching team alignment meetings at the beginning to set initial coaching objectives, after the coaching plan was created to set goals, half-way to track progress and at the end to discuss accomplishments. Initial meetings were held as needed.

  • Organizational alignment that ensured that Justin’s coaching goals and outcomes were linked to his coaching sponsors’ expectations and business strategy.

  • Data-backed assessment tools to measure strengths, growth opportunities, communication style, emotional intelligence and other key factors to help Justin grow.

  • A confidential relationship with an executive coach who was fluent in the financial services industry and used evidence-based coaching techniques.

  • Success measures that tracked Justin’s growth.


Three leadership assessments were used:

1. TLS Leaders’ proprietary 360° Assessment Tool measured Justin’s strengths and growth opportunities through competency-based, in-depth interviews with 15 of his cross-functional stakeholders.

2. DISC measured his work and communication preferences.

3. The EQ-I 2.0, an online assessment tool, created Justin’s emotional intelligence profile.

The feedback enabled Justin to discover his strengths and key growth opportunities. He created a coaching plan that included specific goals with time-bound actions and success measures.

Justin met with his TLS Leaders Executive Coach twice a month for nine months.

He focused on achieving the following goals:

  • Deepen trust and relationships with key stakeholders.

  • Fine tune his communication style to convey more empathy and interest in others’ points of view.

  • Enhance his self-management, especially under stress.

  • Create inroads for better cross-functional exchanges around the organization, leading to increased influence.

  • Deepen trust and relationships with key stakeholders.

  • Fine tune his communication style to convey more empathy and interest in others’ points of view.

  • Enhance his self-management, especially under stress.

  • Create inroads for better cross-functional exchanges around the organization, leading to increased influence.

Feed-Forward As a Growth Tool

To reach Justin’s goal of building trust and relationships, the TLS Leaders Executive Coach suggested that he meet 1:1 with his key stakeholders three times during the engagement. The purpose of these feed-forward meetings were for Justin to better understand their needs, perspectives and his interpersonal impact.

Justin shared in his first meeting with each colleague that he wanted to deepen his relationship with them, and asked for their advice – or feedforward – on how to do so. In addition to gathering and putting their advice into action, these meetings:

  • Signaled to Justin’s stakeholders that he welcomed growth and change, and that he valued their opinions.

  • Enabled Justin to obtain useful data on how to further enhance his approach and gauge how he was growing.

  • Were opportunities for Justin to demonstrate humility, which was a key growth opportunity for him.

Deepening Impulse Control And Resilience

With the support of his TLS Leaders Executive Coach, Justin discovered how to better channel his negative emotions while under stress. He learned that all his emotions were valid – yet the way that he was displaying some of them was unproductive – even reducing others’ trust in him and lowering his influence.

Justin learned his triggers, practiced how to recognize when he was being triggered and created ways to mentally reframe situations to reduce stress and remain more even keeled.


Quick pulse-checks were taken throughout the engagement with Justin’s feedback providers to gauge his growth. A post-360 was conducted at the end of the engagement to measure his growth.

A Different Mindset Emerged

A trend emerged during Justin’s feedforward conversations where his colleagues consistently shared that they wanted him to mitigate his “need to be right” mentality.

With the support of his Executive Coach, Justin recognized that other points of view were equally as valid as his.

  • He better managed his interactions with people who had different approaches. He learned to hold back on expressing his own POV until he heard the other side, which created good will. This change improved meeting outcomes, particularly where he had to influence cross-functionally.

  • Justin also fine-tuned his communication style, talking less and actively listening more. All these approaches deepened his empathy scores. His growth was clear during his monthly, cross-functional meetings.

  • Justin strengthened his impulse control during emotionally charged conversations. He demonstrated greater self-management and executive presence in cross-functional work teams. This change decreased back-channel communication and increased efficiencies for his team and work stream, overall.

Key Outcomes Of Executive Coaching

When TLS Leaders surveyed Justin’s 15 stakeholders at the end of the engagement, we asked on a scale of 1 – 5 how he grew in the below areas.

Twelve stakeholders gave him all 5s for all areas. Three stakeholders gave him all 4s for all areas.

1 = No Change Or Growth.  2 = Slight Growth.  3 = Moderate Growth. 
= Clear Growth.  5 = Significant, Noticeable, Consistent Change Or Growth.


  • Communicates active listening, interest and curiosity in others, and a more empathetic style,
  • Builds trust and positive, productive cross-functional relationships,
  • Approaches stressful work situations with level-headedness and impulse control,
  • Fosters good will and identifies shared interests, experiences or other common ground with stakeholders to meet shared objectives.

*To protect the confidentiality of our coaching clients, their name and some identifying details have been altered.

At TLS Leaders, we know how executive coaching can build a foundation for real growth and transformation – for your leaders and for your company. Contact us to discuss how we can help you to grow your people and fuel your company’s growth.