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Fueling C-Suite Success: Targeted Support for C-Suite Leaders and the Teams They Lead

4 min read
C-Suite Success - Targeted Support

Pandemic resurgence, global geo-political impacts, social activism, economic uncertainty and labor shortages are but a few hallmarks of a new era in business.  One that demands new answers, new strategies and new thinking.  We realized helping C-suite leaders meet these challenges required a different approach than In the past.

“This is a time of existential challenge that requires very different skill sets,” states Keith Johnson, Executive Coach and Executive Partner and former Head of Strategy for UK’s BG Group. “Leaders are constantly challenged by significant external influencers that include sizable industry shifts, new consumer behaviors, and a spectrum of political, social, economic, digital, and global influencers. And internally within their businesses, leaders are dynamically shifting teams, culture, organizations, and business models.”


“Given the pressures and demands at the C-level, leaders today need more support than ever. Executive coaching alone is no longer enough. Today’s C-Suite leaders need support on multiple levels to perform quickly and to be successful,” states Kathy Green, President of Ariel Group.

Two years ago, Ariel built a hybrid model to address shifting leadership development needs at the top of the house. The model pairs two types of support critical for C-Suite leaders – mentoring/advising focused on internal and external business challenges, and executive coaching to help strengthen leadership skills needed to address those challenges.

  • C-Suite Advisor. Leaders have access to out-of-the-box strategic thinking and experience-based wisdom from an Executive Partner (EP)/mentor who has weathered similar industry and external challenges. EPs help leaders sharpen thinking and avoid blind spots in a safe, confidential and trusted space.
  • C-Suite Coach. An Executive Coach can help a senior leader strengthen their leadership style, executive presence, agile decision-making, and broad-based influence, all of which are necessary to lead effectively in today’s dynamic landscape. An executive coach can help leaders make more conscious choices and offers a confidential space to explore their thinking.

In Ariel’s innovative, hybrid model, the coach and advisor align to ensure the leader’s needs are being met efficiently and holistically. The model’s benefits have proven to be significant, particularly for C-Suite leaders newer in their role; those who faced a high stakes situation new to them; or those who liked ‘on-demand’ support.

“We continue to see great interest in, and success with, our dual support approach,” states Kathy. “It allows C-Suite leaders to get subject matter expertise as they need it; adjust their leadership styles in the moment for greater impact; and to ready themselves for what’s around the corner. As a result, leaders and their teams are able to scale more quickly and accelerate results.”


Today, C-Suite leaders and their teams are being stretched and challenged as never before resulting in the need for broader perspectives, greater strategic agility, and faster decision-making. Helping their teams align to new strategies and engage in new behaviors while balancing the demands of their ongoing C-level roles puts additional pressure on C-Suite team leaders. That’s where team coaching can play a supporting role.

Ariel built a hybrid team coaching model that recognizes the multi-layered complexity of C-level team dynamics and provides necessary support to accelerate both team leadership and team performance.

  • C-Team Leader Coach. C-Suite team leaders benefit from the specific skill development needed to cultivate a cohesive, resilient, agile, and exceptional team. Setting the right team foundation, including operating structure and behaviors, is critical for the team to thrive and succeed.
  • Group Leadership Team Coaching. Becoming a functional team operating at a high performing level requires trust from all; alignment and focus on what matters most; establishing and nurturing an operational culture; and, commitment to each other – skills that are cultivated and honed through group team coaching. Team members align around direction, structure and roles, work management processes, and build strong relationships.
  • Team Member Coaching. Additional coaching for individual team members can optimize individual team member contribution while advancing team cohesion, engagement, and performance.
    “Our comprehensive, proprietary team diagnostic pinpoints the specific needs of the team, which allows us to develop a highly customized approach addressing those needs on multiple levels,” states Susan Madonia, Partner at ECC. “From leadership to alignment, to the operational aspects of the team, our adaptive, multi-layered support approach allows businesses to propel past the initial ‘storming’ aspect of new teams and leaders coming together.”

“The coaches who lead this work have extensive, successful business leadership backgrounds combined with years of executive and team development coaching experience,” continues Susan. “This powerful mix provides the right muscle to coach C-Suite leaders and their executive teams to accelerate their momentum amidst the pressures and challenges facing businesses today.”

In today’s business environment of continued uncertainty and unrelenting change, C-Suite leaders and their teams are called upon to respond quickly with little to no margin for error. Leaders are expected to think more clearly, execute faster, and lead their teams and organizations more effectively. Highly customized, hybrid coaching solutions offer much needed support to address their unique needs and accelerate their success.


Kathy Green, PCC, is President of Ariel and Founder of Executive Coaching Connections, LLC (ECC) based in Chicago, Illinois. Kathy hails with over 30 years of proven experience in HR leadership. Prior to Ariel and ECC, Kathy led human resources and organizational development efforts both domestically and internationally at Baxter, Kraft Foods, and Ameritech.

Keith Johnson, PCC, MBA is an Executive Partner and Executive Coach based in London, England, UK. Keith is a proven leader and strategic visionary with over 25 years’ experience leading transformational change across large, complex, global businesses in the mining and oil & gas industries.

Susan Madonia, MS is Ariel’s SVP of Global Clients based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Susan has over 20 years of proven HR and leadership experience leading successful organizations amidst significant transition and change.


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