Developing and Supporting a Leader

All leaders need support and the opportunity to develop themselves in order to continue to be excellent organizational leaders. M+S worked directly with an experienced leader in a new role to help her identify her own professional needs and create a professional and personal growth plan, all in alignment with her organization’s strategic goals.

Context and Background

A seasoned Executive Director had recently become the new leader of a family foundation. The Executive Director had just led the foundation through a strategic planning process, but she was finding it challenging executing the plan with her limited staff and her challenges in delegating. She also wanted to learn how to create more personal and professional balance in order to avoid professional burn out.

Goals of Engagement

  • Create a personal mission for the Executive Director
  • Identify the Executive Director’s strengths as well as areas of challenge
  • Create a personal strategy plan for the Executive Director, including professional development and personal balance, in alignment with the organization’s strategic plan
  • Identify a network of fellow professionals to support and mentor the Executive Director
  • Create a timeline and plan to implement the Executive Director’s personal goals.


  • Sometimes there is an inherent tension between an organization’s goals and the goals and needs of its leader. M+S supported the Executive Director in identifying how to align some of her personal goals with the organization’s goals in order to improve both the organization and herself.
  • Being an executive director can be isolating. M+S identified strategies for the Executive Director to communicate her need for more Board support and helped her create a support network of colleagues and mentors.

Mission Plus Strategy’s Lens

M+S designed a seven-stage executive coaching process that allowed the Executive Director to identify her strengths and weaknesses as a leader, define her personal mission, identify her own concrete goals and objectives for the next three years, and create a plan to execute her next steps. The goal-oriented executive coaching provided by M+S allowed the Executive Director to have a confidant on some of her deepest challenges, yet provide her with the tools to create a personal strategy plan in alignment with the goals of the organization. M+S provided ongoing support to the Executive Director as she implemented the first few months of her plan, and provided tools when challenges arose.


  • A personal inventory for the Executive Director on her strengths and weaknesses, and a profile of her leadership style, based on evidence-based tools.
  • A personal mission that helped the Executive Director define the “why” of her professional journey.
  • A three-year personal strategy plan that included professional development and personal balance, as well as aligned with her organization’s strategic plan and succession planning needs – truly a professional leadership road map.
  • The identification of a “Personal Advisory Board” made up of mentors, colleagues, and friends to provide long-term support and development of the Executive Director.
  • A first-year implementation plan that included not only milestones and a timeline, but also the identification of tools and resources.