Fran’s Story

I was appointed as the Head of Services and now manage all the functions of the Services Department. I am now working towards my goal of becoming a Director of the business.

Fran - grew from middle management to divisional headMy Situation (before coaching)

Allen Gears is a management buy-out from Rolls Royce. At that time, Fran Moss was the Commercial Manager. He was one of two senior managers in the Service Department reporting to the Financial Director, Paul Cartwright.

Fran was focused on managing his own area and responsibilities. He was well respected, worked hard and seemed willing to learn. Following his contribution to the strategy development project, facilitated by the FCL team, Fran was identified as someone who had potential and would benefit from further development as a leader in the business.

The Challenges I Faced (at that time)

For Fran this was a key moment: he was comfortable in the job he already had and thought he was doing “as well as he could”. Then, in meetings with the Operations Director and FCL coaches, each person was presented with both a personal challenge and an opportunity to become the Head of Allen Gears’ Services Division. Fran had to deliver on a strategic project with mentoring support by FCL development specialist, Francis Christie. Jason Watkiss, a Director of Allen Gears, was appointed as Allen Gears’ internal mentor and specified that he wanted the FCL support to be 75% focused on Fran’s development and 25% on the project process.

Why or How Did I Think Mentoring Would Help Me?

Initially Fran felt “neutral” about the programme, but he then appreciated that he was being selected for development and decided that he wanted to take the opportunity. He wanted to get “the keys to the bus”.

What Actually Happened and How Did This Help?

After the initial set-up meeting with Francis and Jason, we provided Fran with a series of 9 coach-mentoring sessions over a 6 month period. The coaching and mentoring sessions were designed to help Fran increase his self-awareness and effectiveness. He had to demonstrate that he had the potential to step-up into a Director’s role.

  • Fran was given a strategic project and a team to lead – a broader set of responsibilities. He had to investigate the systems used in the Services Department and recommend improvements;
  • Fran was coached and mentored to think about his own development. He set himself an inspiring goal and challenged himself to demonstrate that he could operate as if he was a director of the company;
  • He took steps to make the case for more resources, develop his existing staff, delegate more effectively and to broaden his experience into areas like sales, where he had not worked before.

What Were the Results?

Fran identified his strengths and put in place plans to develop them further. His confidence increased. He did various self-assessments which also increased his core confidence. He understood his own potential and created an inspiring and motivating vision of where he could go in his career over the next 5 to 10 years.

He was given more room to manage his own department and began to make better decisions, delegate more and contribute more effectively in his meetings with the Board of Directors and his peers. Several substantial changes were noted and commented on:

  •  He has proved to be more resilient – coping well with customer issues, business “crises” and changes in his resources.
  • He made recommendations to restructure the Service Division and successfully made the case to bring in new people. He has also begun to mentor and develop people in his own team.
  • Fran took the lead in situations where problems affected customers. For example:
    •  He showed particular leadership in responding to a problem with a Finnish customer. The existing Directors expected that this would consume their time. Instead, Fran and two other managers worked out the solution, managed the customer’s expectations and owned the task of resolving the problem for the customer.
    • In another case the customer,  based in Malaysia, rejected the final product – a high-value gear box for the oil industry. After 6 weeks, no  firm action plan was in place to remedy the problem. So Fran took ownership of the situation, pulled together a team from across departments and, in two days, they had a plan agreed with the customer to fix the problem.

In October 2010, Fran Moss was appointed as the Head of Services and now manages all the functions of the Services Department, including responsibility for sales. He is one of three senior managers who were  appointed as Heads of Department. Fran is currently developing his team further and working towards his eventual goal of becoming the Director of the Allen Gears Services business.

At a minimum, the cost-benefit to Allen Gears is a saving of £100,000 per annum. This more than justifies Allen Gear’s investment in the 6 month development programme that has enabled a senior manager to step up and work effectively, at the next level, as the new Head of Services.

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