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From Second Banana to Leader of a Powerful Bunch

C Berke International Journal of Coaching in Organizations 2005

This case study involves the transition of a small, closely held two-person partnership into a family business and then back to a closely held entity. The company with which the author worked was in the business of industrial cleaning and disaster recovery. It employed approximately 50 individuals at the beginning of our work together, mostly semi-skilled workers and administrative personnel. The company was owned and operated by two partners, one of whom was my client. This article focuses mainly on several transition points in the company’s growth as well how the organization effectively adapted to those transitions, through identifying and drawing more deeply on their own resources. These changes were almost entirely precipitated by one leader’s development. The client’s willingness to learn and be different facilitated a great change in company culture created an atmosphere, much more conducive to employee satisfaction and retention. The work took place over a two-year period, from 1999 into 2000.

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