Meet Buoyant Leader Gia
Gia is a Buoyant Leader experiencing firefighting and overwhelm. To move forward, they need to learn more about their new stakeholders so they can properly manage them and make the most of their growing team by prioritizing for them.
Imagine having a larger scope, more responsibility, direct access to the executive team, and a better title but none of the authority or power.
Meet Gia, a newly promoted VP within a global company that has decided to put more emphasis on creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. They now report directly to the board and have a more strategic position, but they have so much on their plate that they don't have time to plan for the year, let alone be there for their family or stay up to date with their industry's trends.
Even with their promotion, they found they still struggled with a lot of the same challenges:
Packed calendar with meetings that there was no room to reflect or strategize.
Constantly bombarded with requests/ initiatives without a process or system to keep track.
Lacking time (and energy) to properly train and provide feedback to their expanding team.
Having to work through others to get projects and initiatives done because of not having a direct mandate or team capacity.
What We Worked on Together
Recognizing they had limited time and wanted to improve their ability to influence and work through others, we started with a time tracker exercise and boundaries. There is a difference between thinking you know where your time is going and keeping track of where you spend your time. They started inserting breaks and dedicated work time into their schedule so that their colleagues could not schedule meetings at any time. They also audited their schedule weekly to see what could be deleted, delegated, or delayed.
In a role that impacts workplace physiological safety, anything can be thrown on your plate at a moment's notice. Together we worked on clarifying what their department owned and what had to be deferred elsewhere. We also planned their first team retreat and strategic planning process to ensure everyone was aligned and on the same page.
Gia had a limited number of people on their team that worked within different regions and time zones. Getting clear on the strengths and areas of improvement for each team member was key and allowed them to engage with each team member productively throughout the day. Gia feels less reactive and has more confidence in setting boundaries and delegating as a result.
With an increased scope and responsibility, leaders need to be even more comfortable letting go of tasks and delegating. It is possible to support your team while growing as a leader yourself, but it starts with getting clear on your abilities, how your stakeholders define success, and the strengths of your team members.
Why They Decided to Work With Akua
"I saw your profile on [an initiative that provides executive coaching for social impact-focused entrepreneurs], and I very much liked your website and how you advertised your program. It really spoke to me as it touched on some of my key challenges - time management, productivity, and leadership. I was also extremely impressed by your content, including the podcast, and thought it was a good match."