Senior Vice President, Cap Gemini Uk Plc
Graham was a successful programme deliverer in the IT world. He had a whole track record of really successful projects but he had, it seemed, only one tool in his kitbag - a very large hammer, which he used to smash his way through his projects and, sure enough, he left quite a bit of debris behind. So, although he was very well respected for being able to come in and deliver a project and for being able to walk bravely into very difficult situations and achieve a turnaround, he wasn’t seen as somebody with real leadership potential because of the fallout left behind.
I didn’t think that that was right. I felt that he had more to him and Geetu could see that he did as well. The work she did with him was fascinating… if you plot the curve he was in complete denial in the first stage. He wouldn’t engage and he told me afterwards why that was…. every piece of success he’d ever had in his career had been achieved by behaving and acting in one way and he was terrified that learning these new ways would undermine his performance and actually mean he would be less successful.
He reached an inflection point, where he suddenly realised this actually could help him, and he went from being Geetu’s most difficult student ever to being her most engaged as he totally bought into it.
It was a very successful engagement. It helped us to think about his future and what it would take for him to develop into a leader and achieve a leadership position. That required me to release him from my team and get him into a position where he could be seen to be performing by the right people within the business.
I’m pleased to say that only a little after 12 months after Geetu’s intervention, Graham was promoted to vice president at the first time of asking and he could not have achieved that without the intervention from Geetu and bringing the Emotional Intelligence learnings to him and helping him learn more about himself, how he interacted with people, the impact he had on people and how he could actually use different mechanisms to achieve even better outcomes.
That was a fantastic learning for me, and much better for Graham as you can imagine.