Executive Coaching – Harvard Business School Case Study

Leadership: “Developing and Coaching Effective Managers.


Executive Coaching Process Harvard Business School Case

The need for heart-to-heart relationships in management positions results in Executive Coaching Harvard Business tools. Such is the case of Coaching Makena Lane.

On September 28-29, Bindu Power Coaching (BPC) attends the 11th Annual Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference, in Boston. The Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, and Harvard Medical School hosts this annual event. Thus, it provides cutting-edge coaching techniques. As well as, the participation of coaches worldwide. And Bindu has participated for four consecutive years as a Fellow. Mrs. Dadlani is a Happiness Coach.

One of the keynote sessions was a Real Life Executive Coaching Process Harvard Business School (HBS) Case. “Coaching Makena Lane” is the first executive coaching Harvard Business case study. Professor Ethan Bernstein teaches it at the Harvard Business School.

The protagonist of the case is offered an executive coach. Above all, to soften her interpersonal management style. Especially, with her subordinates and coworkers. The abstract is here. And the Harvard Business School case, written by Professor Ethan Bernstein and Om Lala, here: CoachingMakenaLane-RequiredReading-Conference2018

As the description of the agenda stated:

“The best organizations can rarely survive a poor manager’s reluctant efforts to lead them, and even the most average organizations can be made great by a good manager. In this new HBS case on “Coaching Makena Lane”, we look at coaching’s role as a tool for developing effective managers.

The case is a rare look into the real, unedited materials of a real-life executive coaching process that was used to try to improve the trajectory of a high-potential manager on her path to being an effective executive. (While all names have been disguised for confidentiality, everything else is raw and real.)

Professor Ethan Bernstein leads the session. He does it in the traditional HBS case discussion. His interactive and lively presentation was one of a kind. He kept the more than four hundred international coaches enthusiastic. Notably, throughout the hour and fifteen minutes. Then, the participants discussed their answers to the following questions:

How would you evaluate Makena Lane’s coaching process?

If you were Mills, would you promote Lane? Why or why not?

Coaching: a tool for developing effective managers.

The case is a real-life executive coaching process. And it is used to try to improve the trajectory of a high-potential manager.  That is, on her path to being an effective executive.

In this post, I will share my viewpoints on what the BPC Method would have done if hired as an executive coach for Makena Lane. And how it relates to the Executive Coaching Harvard Business Case.

Heart-to-heart connection in the workplace

Makena lacks interpersonal skills. As a result, she is not able to make a heart-to-heart connection with the rest of the workers outside her team. Also, numbers drive her. And in the process, she forgets that there are people with feelings. For instance, those who have worked almost all their lives in that company.

Her ideas of innovating 365 are good and proven to be effective. But she lacks the one skill needed to succeed: the ability to listen and give time to others peoples views. Also, to let them feel integrated and helpful. Something that she is blocking out. As a result, it would help her to delegate work to others. In fact, this is another way of making them feel part of the new project.

Moreover, she lacks a great deal of emotional intelligence. For instance, the last paragraph sentence in the exhibit 10 overview, explains it very well. Thus, she needs more balance between strengths and weakness.

To illustrate, 365 culture is relationship driven. And with her skills, Mills and Fernandez made a mistake hiring her. This initial action is at the base of the problem. Also, clear from the start. The executive coaching process should have sprouted at the beginning. Truly, when engaging her in the first place.

It is not easy to change one’s personality.  Bringing someone into the company with those qualities could be more natural to the position. Then again, change is possible provided you have the right tools to rewire your brain. Hence, the practices suggested by the coach are excellent. But Makena has a time problem constraint.

Inner Work

Hale proposes to Makena independent practices (as listed on page 7). However, here it is important to note that she was deprived of parental love from birth. So Hale´s advice is a very good start, but Makena needs to heal her inside. She has also suffered rejection. This type of business healing and inner work is what BPC does. That is, what the case mentions as “self-generation.”

My answers:

How would you evaluate ML coaching process?

The Executive Coaching Harvard Business Case is very useful. It also goes directly to the issue at hand. For example, Hale takes meditation mindfulness as the answer in Lane´s case. Because she desperately needs calmness.

However, I would work on a more in-depth approach to healing the problem that happened at birth. For example, I would teach her psychotherapy techniques by Phyllis Krystal. Above all, it would help her recover from within permanently.

If you were Mills, would you promote Lane? Why or why not?

Yes, I would promote her. She proved to show she made an effort to change. And later improve. Although she received many offers, she was still staying loyal to the company. I think that with some more help and inner guidance type of methods, she can slowly improve her management. At least, towards a more relationship-driven style.

BPC brings this inner change and transformation. That is, the method brings equilibrium within the masculine and feminine side of the person. BPC Ceo Coach is different from any other coach in that she adds a touch of spirituality in the executive coaching process.

The manager goes through a series of transformations to achieve “the impossible.” Thus, it is an essential action makeover. The areas needed strong understanding and work start to balance out. And this provides a more human experience.

In Makena Lane´s HBS case, Bindu fits in the deeper part of the problem. BPC can bring a fast solution to the table in a reliable way. This empowering method solves in days or weeks what executive coaches would take years to sort out. She goes deep within the soul.

For change to happen within an individual, we need to re-program the brain from old belief systems. Also, in Makena´s case, she needs a change from deep subconscious beliefs. Which in her case happened right at birth. Without delay, these changes are paramount and will benefit the receiver. Otherwise, she will continue with long-held habits.

Coaching Makena Lane HBS Case

Some last points

Since the early stages of life, I made deliberate choices that were consistent with my goals, aspirations and authentic self. This clear thinking helped me forge a successful relationship with my Self. The BPC method is the result of many years of profound transformation.

In search of the Knowledge of the Absolute Truth,

Bindu Dadlani

Read Gateway to Happiness: Mind Management through Coaching Science.



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