I am sure we, who watched the movie or read the book, have no issue to remember, how nine sorts of individual stepped forward -- four hobbits; a future king; an elf; a prince; and a dwarf, and a wizard -- and united by one noble purpose, they pledged their service to guard Frodo to Mordor. Together they formed the "fellowship" of the ring. Was it the end? Of course, not! In fact, it was only the beginning of their long and winding journey.
The fellowship at WAT
It was purely coincidence that the management of PT Wira Arta Telematika/WAT (www.wiraarta.com) chose nine of its team members to carry out a journey -- an intellectual journey through an executive coaching program.
These nine companions come from different backgrounds: three from sales, Nova, Shakina and Masfill; two from product management, Sifa and Fahmi; two technical, Jeckson and Sandy; one HR, Yenny; and one from finance/accounting, Renita.
The journey begins. From September 2018 till November 2018, Fourteena of Arc Australia journeyed with them; once every two weeks they had a one-on-one meaningful conversation via a video conference with Fourteena to discuss their bi-weekly activity, share their highs and lows or express their personal as well as professional needs and receive well-thought out advice and be enlightened.
SIFA moved from a sales role into product management a year ago. She has a strong product knowledge and a good relationship with principals but she didn’t have business acumen or “business sense”. She didn’t know the importance of connecting her product knowledge with business strategy or thinking strategically to find ways to help business performance by leveraging her product knowledge.
She wanted to do more, but she had no idea what else can she did within her capacity. The coaching helped her learn how to connect her product knowledge with business; work with the sales team to create activities to promote and sell products and services effectively in line with the company business objectives.
NOVA, a newcomer at WAT since February 2018, was appointed as sales team leader with eight sales team members. She has a good sales management skill, but she was unaware the importance of establishing a good rapport through building a relationship with her team. Further, her lack of leadership skills made it difficult for her to unite eight of her team members as one. She didn’t realise that her and everyone’s performance is the “team” performance, not an individual achievement. The coaching taught her how to build a team spirit; turn an individual work into a collective effort; sharpen her leadership skills and become a “people’s person” – she also learned how to use her empathy and be a good listener. And most importantly how to appreciate her team – direct their collaborative efforts to achieve a common goal, make them feel that what they do matters and show that she sincerely cares. At the end of the coaching period she shared one good news that her team has achieved their business target. That's excellent, Nova!
The Great Duo
FAHMI whose expertise is in product management especially in e-Commerce worked independently. Being a quiet person and rather lacked of confidence, he had a difficulty to initiate conversations. In dealing with new business opportunity that needed his support, he wouldn’t mind to join a customer meeting but only at the beginning of the sales process, and the rest he’d rather work behind the desk and passively wait and see. Also, he was too self-centred and self-sufficient – he thought he needed no one to accomplish his work. It took him just a couple of coaching sessions to make him realise that being open and reaching out could work wonder. And during the rest of the coaching sessions, Fahmi was able to change his attitude and see that collaboration and team work are the way. Through collaboration with his team members he was able to be more creative and innovative in his undertaking and achieved a greater result. Not only that he found joy at work and was able to work in harmony with other team members, in fact because of this, his self-confidence also increased.
MASFILL, a care-free sales person, worked independently. He never thought that he was part of a team, bigger than himself. No doubt, he was hardworking but the way he worked was aimless – he did his sales activity without planning and strategy; no sense of purpose and priority. In his sales undertaking, he relied more on relationship with his customers than his skills and selling strategy. Often being “too-customer-oriented”, he took thought-less actions in order to close the business – sounded un-professional. Sadly, he didn’t even know what professionalism was, let alone how to be professional. The coaching has transformed Masfill, from a care-free and thoughtless individual into a professional who built his new sales skills through his willingness to gain knowledge through diligent self-learning and collaboration with his team members, especially the product managers. In fact, just before the coaching period was ended, Masfill and Fahmi teamed up wonderfully, and two of them successfully closed a huge deal for one of Masfill’s major customers.
Well done and many congratulations to Fahmi and Masfill, the great duo at WAT!
SHAKINA joined WAT as a sales person in July 2018; coming from the retail industry, she had no IT background and lacked of confidence in selling. No initiatives how to create a meaningful sales activity. Her daily sales activity started with making cold calls to any potential customers. Many of her calls were ignored. Her time wasted. Even if she had a positive response, she was unable to give accurate information, often, she made an “un-checked” commitment which she can’t deliver, creating an unpleasant reputation for herself. Shakina was almost losing confidence, seeing her other colleagues performing while she was struggling. Through the coaching, Shakina learned how to manage and prioritise her accounts, be more selective in pursuing the business opportunities. Aside from that, Fourteena guided her how to be an insightful sales person and a team player; build a good relationship and trust with both customers and other team members at WAT. During the three months coaching period, Shakina’s performance improved drastically. Best of all, she achieved her first revenue target. That’s amazing, Shakina!
JECKSON is a technical leader with two engineers reporting to him. His leadership style was “command and control”. Being too task oriented, he hardly had meaningful conversation with his team, communication was limited only to give instructions or check the status of the work. Although his team members did a good job but he wouldn’t be able to bring the best in them. With such a command-and-control style, Jeckson limited his team’s creativity. The coaching changed the way he led his team; he instilled discipline and collaborative spirit, held a regular team meeting, became more attentive to his team’s needs, encouraged them to take initiatives and trusted them. In such a short time, this approach brought a great result – not only that his team members became more responsive and pro-active, but also took their responsibility seriously.
SANDY, a passionate and talented engineer, confessed that he was a very reserved person; he didn’t know how to communicate well. This affected his work. When invited to customer meetings, he found it hard to express his thoughts articulately. It made it even harder as he never learned the importance of being well prepared in those meetings. He just turned up. This affected his confidence. How he wanted to be confident and know the “secret” how to build relationship with anyone. Through the coaching he learned how to prepare well in a meeting and express his thoughts with confident. And before the coaching period was ended, Sandy has found the “secret” how to initiate a meaningful conversation as a means to build relationship with anyone: customers, team mates as well as friends outside his working environment -- and this made him a happy and confident person.
YENNY, the first HR staff at WAT, is responsible for all HR-related matters. She has a sense of working purpose, good at managing her work, and also has a good knowledge in HR administration and management. However, she lacked of people’s skill. When dealing with conflict, she was not able to dig deeper and take a closer look at the behaviour of someone who was involved in the conflict or causing a certain issue; assess if the behaviour was professional- or personal-driven; or as an impact of business process- or operational-issue. Through the coaching sessions, Yenny learned how to be more assertive through listening with heart to improve her ability to discern people’s behaviour, motivation, and intention; and learned how to take the right course of action that is objective, transparent, and efficient.
The nine companions. Coming together as a team
The three-month coaching period has just ended on 29 November 2018. These nine individuals – like the nine companions in The Lord of the Rings -- have come together as a team -- united by one shared purpose, to build the future of WAT to be a "capability-rich" company, here and now. It is only a beginning.The road to success is still far ahead of them – but travelling together as a team will make it all the difference, ...in fact, a great business strategy that is very, very hard to duplicate also starts here.
Echoing what Henry Ford says:
Coming together is a beginning
Keeping together is progress
Working together is success …
Arc Australia Consulting wishes Sifa, Nova, Masfill, Fahmi, Jeckson, Sandy, Renita and Yenny the very best: "May the work of their hands flourish and bloom like roses in their hands!"