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Preparing to Move Up - by Elizabeth Arthur PCC

By Helen Isacke|21.08.2017

My role as Coach was to help my client accelerate his readiness for Partnership so that he excelled in the interview process and would be invited by the Senior Managing Partner of the Firm to become a Partner in his team.

Case Study – Preparing to Move Up

by Elizabeth Arthur  ICF Professional Certified Coach



My client, Tom (name changed for confidentiality), worked as a senior manager in a Professional Services Firm in a sector team and was on track for being promoted to Partner within 12-18 months. He was highly experienced and excelled technically, had developed some key client relationships, delivered many complex projects successfully for both the firm and the client base and regularly spoke at local industry conferences and technical update meetings representing his Firm.

Unexpectedly the senior partner of the team took early retirement sooner than had been planned and as a consequence my client needed to accelerate his performance to be successful to transition to Partner within a 6 month time frame, in order to be ready to go before the Partnership panel for interview and assessment.

Whilst talented technically and outstanding in his delivery, Tom lacked a more impactful leadership brand and confidence and had limited experience of representing the Firm on a larger, more significant “playing field”, in terms of the wider industry and taking the lead role in the delivery team for the significant clients.

My role as Coach was to help Tom accelerate his readiness for Partnership so that he excelled in the interview process and would be invited by the Senior Managing Partner of the Firm to become a Partner in his team.


Discovery, Exploration & Process

The key objectives of the programme focused on Tom’s leadership style and brand, his communication skill and his client development skill. These objectives were clarified by meetings with both Tom and his Sponsor, a senior partner from the team. I encouraged Tom to become a Partner the very first day of us working together – what behaviours did he notice being role modelled elsewhere? What did he notice that conveyed leadership presence and impact?

With the picture that emerged for Tom this created the Coaching Gap and we began to work in a focused way of closing it and creating the Brand and style Tom wanted to be known for.

Through the coaching Tom developed a clear, concise and consistent way of communicating, internally and externally, and increased his leadership impact through developing his brand and presence in order to inspire clients and team members. Tom was gifted technically and always had substance but it was how to showcase that to give others confidence in his abilities and to be a leader that needed work.

Being socially minded and humble, through the coaching Tom developed ways of becoming more comfortable and authentic in creating confidence in his abilities and talking of his achievements.

  • Enhancing his confidence in what he had to offer and gaining clarity in communicating this externally and internally. Together we identified the internal dialogue that was getting in the way for Tom and sabotaging his efforts. Through my brain based approach he was able to identify unhelpful behavioural patterns that were triggered in certain scenarios and through understanding how the brain functions was able to find and develop new neural pathways that created behaviours that served him better.
  • Becoming clear on the value he added, the difference he made each day through using tools and techniques to establish his unique capabilities such as values and beliefs exercises, uncovering limiting beliefs/assumptions using different coaching processes such as NLP and Time to Think, role play presentations critiquing both presence, language and delivery.
  • With confidence and clarity Tom extended his networking, increased his impact by developing opinions on topics that related to both the Firm and the sector separately. Tom and I also focused on ways of developing a stronger “leader as coach” style so that he could enhance and accelerate the development and capability of his existing managers to back fill his role rather than recruiting externally.



He has since told me how differently he communicates, becoming far more “laser-like” and confident in delivery and consequently he sees and experiences a different and more positive response from his clients and the sector team.

He has since gone on to confidently lead and represent the team both internally and externally and has won and secured new business for the Firm. Tom was also delighted to have promoted one of his team managers to a senior manager role, also earlier than had been anticipated, highlighting good succession planning, developing career opportunities and delivering cost savings for the Firm through retaining talent.

Six months later Tom entered the Partner process of panel interviews, presentations and assessment centres and was highly commended in his approach and achievements and was invited by the Senior Managing Partner to join the Partnership.








Elizabeth Arthur provides insightful, supportive brain based coaching to enhance possibility and your professional development.

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