Case Study #2: Leadership Team Behavior – Pharmaceutical Company


The Chief Operating Officer of a large successful pharmaceutical company (division) wanted to address negative feedback from employees about the leadership team and toxic behaviors between team members. A survey had identified leadership behaviors from members of the unit’s leadership team (mostly scientists) that were perceived as disrespectful to others. The leadership team also expressed concern about their own interactions, in particular, how willing the team was to discuss different perspectives on various issues and how safe it was to present dissenting opinions.

Engagement Scope:

Through several team coaching sessions, a facilitator delivered content and conducted a number of exercises designed to create alignment on two levels: First, on what the offensive behaviors were and the organizational impact of continuing the behavior. The goal was to agree on a definition and to make the case for change. Second, to agree on strategies to change the behaviors. Here the goal was to reach agreement on a couple of steps that the leadership team could hold itself accountable to that would begin to shift how they were perceived.

Individual Coaching- each member of the leadership team received individual coaching to identify specific behaviors that they wanted to focus on changing based on feedback from an assessment and the survey.


The leadership team created a development plan for their interaction as a team and strategies for changing how they interacted with the organization as a whole. The team committed to establishing some interim measures to provide insight on the impact of their strategies and to run another formal survey six months from the start of implementation.