Leadership Development

Developing people's leadership skills is our most significant competency. We help existing leaders become more effective, and teach potential leaders how to set and achieve goals, guide and direct other people, influence and persuade employees and customers, analyze and adjust plans, and more. Helping people reach their full potential underpins most of our work for clients.

Teaching and practice focused on taking action, with celebration when things go well
and supportive redirection when things go wrong

2014 Leadership Retreat for an Engineering Firm



Frank White, president, Metro Mechanical, Inc.

We started working together in 2018, and back then you were interested in teamwork and growth. As you think about our history, I’d appreciate your answers to the following questions.

Q: What problems were you having before we began our work together?
A: I had too many direct reports and was not utilizing all our managers for what they were hired for. I knew that I was bogging myself down and not delegating things off to our key leaders. That is when we did my one-on-one coaching. You showed me how to take a different approach. We also had a problem with internal communications: our mid-level managers were not communicating among each other. We have now changed our weekly staff meeting format and this has brought much improvement in accountability. Moreover, [two vice presidents] both took on somewhat different roles, and this has worked great.

Q: What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve these problems?
A: Again, it seems that several of our key managers would always come to me with issues that they could have resolved. I was not willing to make people accountable for what they were paid to do, and I always felt that I had to be the one that handled these issues.

Q: What was different about my approach than other consultants you may have used?
A: Tom, you are experienced and very methodical. You take time to think thru and do research on the issues I brought to you. Then we would discuss resolutions and the best way that I should handle this stuff. And we did not try to solve EVERYTHING at once. We concentrated on the top 3-4 issues. [For example,] the white paper titled ‘CEO Time Pie’ I keep on my desk and look at quite often. I must admit I now have much more free time to work on strategic things and not the fires that occur daily.

Q: Take me to the moment when you realized our work together was working to solve your problems.
A: 1.) When I realized that I had had so much more time to dedicate to high level strategic thinking/planning.
2.) About halfway thru you working with
[vice president] and I immediately started seeing the change in his way of thinking. This was probably the largest change. And more recently, [Louisiana operations manager] has improved on his way of looking at things - all for the better.

Q: Tell me how life looks now that your problems are solved.
A: Well, I cannot say “all my problems are solved” but we are communicating across our management team much better and two of our key leaders have taken a step up to managing people/operations better. This has freed up a good bit of my time so I can now continue to build the company.

“Thanks for the personal attention you give Neel-Schaffer in your professional duties. Your efforts to work with, advise us, and make us a better and stronger firm are appreciated by all of us who rely on the services you offer us. We look forward to continuing this business relationship and friendship.” -- Slade F. Exley, P.E., Senior Vice President

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this leadership training and hate to see it ending. I do not often see the benefit of some of the training out there today, but this has been great and I have learned much about myself.” -- Mark Pipper, Director

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