Todd Livick is a senior leader on a mission to drive positive change. But he knew something was holding him back. He just couldn’t put his finger on it…until he found a solution that changed everything: The BOS R360 Engagement with BehaviorTuner®.
In the beginning…
Even prior to the start of the pandemic of 2020, Todd Livick already had a sense that his ability to lead was being hampered by certain communication dynamics. Getting actionable insight felt like a daunting and complicated challenge. The shift to remote working conditions only made the challenge greater. Even so, Todd had enough awareness to know that his strong belief in the importance of process can lead to team members perceiving him as inflexible and even rigid. His sincere desire was to stretch himself and his team to new levels of success, but he was feeling somewhat stagnate. Then he learned of the opportunity to gain insights and accelerate trust through the BOS R360 Engagement process. Todd jumped at it. He knew about traditional 360s from past experience, and so he was pretty sure that the engagement would challenge him, but other than that, he wasn’t sure what to expect.
First, Todd met with his R360 coach and started considering more deeply his intended outcomes, and whom to ask to be his feedback partner. The R360 “Boost” engagement involves one feedback partner. With his coach’s support, Todd thoroughly evaluated his reasons for his initial feedback partner candidates. Upon further reflection, which included some extreme discomfort, Todd changed course completely and decided to ask a senior leader two levels above him to be his feedback partner—a military General who is also the top Director of the organization. Needless to say, this was a courageous decision that could have big implications. Todd reported feeling “sick to his stomach” upon making the decision. However, the decision better aligned with Todd’s stated purpose. Todd’s success in leading change largely depended on buy-in and support from the Director. Although going to the top of the organization brought great perceived risk, it also presented great opportunity. With the help of Coach, Todd fully committed to the process.
The Director graciously accepted Todd’s invitation, and they both completed BehaviorTuner surveys. Both Todd’s and the Director’s (Respondent’s) surveys focused on Todd’s behaviors when interacting with the Director. Data in hand, Todd met with his coach to debrief on the BehaviorTuner data and begin preparing for his follow-up conversation with the Director.
Recognizing his high anxiety, Todd’s coach encouraged him to practice the conversation repeatedly before going forward. Todd reflected on how important it was to prepare and practice. He said, “the pre-conversation prep session and coaching support was superb, and rehearsal was key.”
Then Todd held his follow up conversation with the Director. The meeting was scheduled for 45 minutes. The conversation ultimately lasted 100 minutes. As 45 minutes expired, Todd mentioned that the time was almost up. The Director immediately replied that this was the most important conversation he could be having that day, and that they should keep talking. The Director took great interest in the data and requested that they mutually take a deep dive, covering all aspects of the report. A breakthrough was underway. Todd felt a mix of relief, validation and excitement as they proceeded to go deeper into the insights they were having about their communication dynamic.
One of the biggest takeaways, which came as a surprise to Todd, was how aligned he actually was with the Director. For Todd, the specific, actionable nature of the BehaviorTuner data helped create the conditions for a highly positive and constructive conversation. By the end of the follow up conversation, Todd felt that not only was his relationship with the Director strengthened, but he had the insights and support to do even more as a leader.
Reflecting on his interactions with his coach, Todd reported being particular pleased with how she was able to stretch him, but that he never felt imposed upon. Everything he ultimately discovered came out of him. “She made me uncomfortable, but she gave me the ability to draw my own conclusions,” Todd said. “She gave me the maneuver room I needed. I felt so comfortable with my coach.”
What it is like now…
Todd reports that ever since his R360 Boost Engagement, things have been “totally different.” He says that he “can see next steps more clearly,” in large part because he has more visibility into the Director’s thinking and desires. This has raised Todd’s confidence to do more than he previously thought was possible. Plus, Todd is now moving with more speed due to his increased confidence. Knowing that he has the backing and support of the Director to do more and push forward with new innovations is a huge boost for Todd.
More broadly, Todd reports having better impact with his team. For example, he was recently in a situation with a direct report that could have gone down a very unfortunate path, but Todd had the behavioral insight and new level of skills to be able to assist that team member through direct feedback that helped steer that person in the right direction, without damaging their relationship or inflicting reputational damage.
Todd reports being more at ease as a leader now. He now finds himself “sitting back more to allow more team members to contribute their thoughts and ideas.” Todd has observed that people on his team are beginning to open up more during meetings, that the conversations he and they are having are more beneficial and collaborative, and he’s getting much more buy-in on directives.
Reflecting more broadly on what he’s learned from the overall experience, Todd remarked that “people are people, and they need to feel valued. I was so focused on process that I didn’t think much about that before.”
When asked to sum up his R360 journey, Todd said, “I didn’t have the confidence to push forward, but now I feel renewed vigor. I can bring others into the process earlier. I really needed that boost!”
Todd now sees great potential to strengthen the performance impact by extending the R360 process and BehaviorTuner tool to other members of his team.
Todd Livick, Senior Public Relations Executive, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Office