David was a newly appointed head of an academic school in a university. He had only previously worked as an academic, so the role was a significant challenge, particularly so since he came to it at a time when the school was experiencing great disharmony and distrust between individuals.
David's appointment was for three years, after which he would probably return to an academic role within the school under a new head.
The coaching partnership here fulfilled three roles:
- to provide support at a particularly challenging time
- to provide an independent sounding-board where he could discuss issues related to his role
- to provide a forum for reflection and insight, giving personal development and continued learning within the role.
- to review and clarify career direction
David found this an invaluable source of support and also involved his coach in working with the executive team and in a wider review of the structures and working practices within the school.