Geert asked Heineken Romania’s Organisational Development Manager, Raluca Modoran, to find a team coach to support this process. She approached LeaderSpace following a recommendation from a Romanian participant on one of our leadership programmes. From our initial conversations, understanding of Romanian culture and an increasing understanding of Heineken’s own culture, it was clear that we needed an approach that blended energy, fun and interaction with respect, insight and self-reflection. Geert and his team were experienced leaders who’d worked for other well-known brands. We knew they had taken part in a range of leadership development activities in the past, were well-educated on the topic of leadership and would have high expectations.
We worked with Geert and Raluca to develop a deeper understanding of the team and its environment. A mixture of dialogue and data from the LeaderSpace High-Performing Teams Questionnaire helped shape the intervention and our joint communications with the rest of Geert’s team.
The intervention itself was a blend of planned sessions and emergent discussion. Together, the team looked at its history and the impact of past events on the present. They shared their views on themselves and each other as leaders. We established a vision for the team and each individual’s leadership of their own teams: a collective definition of what “great” actually meant in reality. In part, this meant committing to building a single shared Sales “empire”, rather than silos – or smaller “kingdoms”.
We tackled the things that really got in the way of achieving that vision, including people’s concerns that helping peers would cause them to lose focus on their own work, or that asking for input from one’s colleagues might be seen as a sign of weakness. We debated matters of trust and commitment, challenge and support, interdependence and accountability. And we sat by the fire on a snowy winter night in a forest full of bears, listening to each other’s stories – often with laughter in our eyes but sometimes with heavier hearts.