In early 2016, Jay Bray, the VP of Accounting/Finance at Deflecto, a consumer goods manufacturer in Indianapolis, Indiana, took the Highlands Ability Battery to improve on his leadership style. Jay knew the potential benefit from investing in this type of professional development; so with the help of his Highlands Certified Consultant, Diane Foster, they worked together to identify those opportunities and began working towards them.
“By partnering with Diane, I wanted to assess myself as a professional. I asked Diane, ‘Identify where I am not maximizing my value as a manager, a colleague, or as an advisor to our company leadership. Define those skills and attributes that should be more public and which should be strengthened. Help me become a more effective and well-rounded leader.’”
Jay went on to explain that he and Diane worked together over the course of ten months and spent that time working through Diane’s Skill Kit for Leaders material and the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) Leadership and Work Types reports. These reports provided the detailed analysis on my natural abilities; both in terms of which areas I had a high affinity for and what areas could or should be improved. This led to more intense discussions on how they affect leadership.
Jay’s HAB Leadership Results
Jay said the results on his HAB Leadership Report were a mix of things he already knew and several “a-ha” discoveries. For starters, the results reinforced Jay’s awareness of his personal style as an extrovert, having an open and entrepreneurial mindset, and having a strong observation ability.
“These traits fit with my current role due to the constant interaction with other functional areas, peers, subordinates, and leadership throughout all of our divisions. I thrive on being in a business-centric position that requires a leader to be fully involved across the business and have an extrovert mentality.”
Next, Diane helped Jay to focus on a few areas to further enhance his leadership style. These included changes to improve focus and control during meetings, how to enhance the all important skill of listening and how to lessen the personal expectations of perfectionism.
What Is Next for Jay as a Business Leader
Jay explained that his primary goal as a professional is to have a positive impact on both people and the business. While he is still 15 years from retirement, he is very clear that he wants to spend those years making real contributions in both his professional role and personal life. That is why he sought a career coach and took the HAB.
“In my work, I am expected to solve problems while simultaneously improving the business at whatever level I am working with. That is what I set out to do every day. A couple of years ago my problem was a lack of professional development, so I tackled that problem by finding Diane, who found Highlands; and I am grateful for that.”