LEG-TECH Case Study with Mike Rohrbach

Mike's Situation

The need to build a strong agency based on goal setting, teamwork and real, measurable success

When Mike Rohrbach accepted his new position as Director of the Washington State Legislative Service Center (now called LEG-TECH) in 2015, he knew right away that he was going to need additional support to excel in his new position and to become a more effective leader.

With a background in high-tech and development, Mike had led plenty of project teams to victory, but had never tackled leadership at the agency level. Excited to expand his horizons, Mike entered his new position with enthusiasm

Upon starting at the agency, Mike found that his team at LEG-TECH was disengaged from their customer base, and that they tended to work as individual satellites rather than collaborating to meet goals and solve problems.

He also discovered that though the department was generally well-received and respected by customers, internal procedures were not driven or measured by mutually agreed upon ideas of success and there was little to no personal accountability among team members.

As a result customers reported that they had good relationships with individual employees at LEG-TECH, but felt ignored by and disconnected from the organization as a whole.

Tom’s Approach

A peer recommended Business Coaching and Consulting to Mike, and he contacted Tom in December of 2015 to request a free consultation. In their complimentary 30 minute introductory phone call, Tom engaged Mike by listening to his experiences and asking thoughtful questions about the agency and his own professional history.

It took three phone calls for Tom to decide to engage in the coaching process with Mike. Says Mike of their first few calls, “I realized at the end of the first call that Tom was actually interviewing me! But his passion and enthusiasm for developing leaders is unmatched, and that was clear from that first conversation.”

The Solution

1. PXT Total Person Assessment

Mike agreed to take the PXT Total-Person Assessment and to take part in follow-up evaluation with Tom. Mike’s PXT Assessment clarified that was in the right role doing the right thing by following a path of leadership, but also illuminated his stretch-areas, or places where he could improve and grow. As a result Mike  PXT gained more confidence in his entrepreneurial spirit and set immediate goals with Tom to strengthen his stretch-areas.

Mike had such a good experience with PXT that he opened it up to all of his agency leaders so they could better understand their ideal culture and job fit.

2. Lead with Clarity Leadership Coaching

Working closely to set personal goals and leadership skills, Tom backed up Mike’s instincts as a leader and encouraged him to make informed decisions with complete information. Of this process Mike said that “The clarity from engaging directly with my team drives my performance and helps me set clear goals with them.” Tom encouraged Mike to go and get answers directly from his team when he needed them instead of waiting for reports on progress.

Mike and Tom now check in regularly on objectives in a 30 minute call each week.

Their current Leadership objectives are to:

  • Maintain good transparency with his team
  • Identify blind spots and increasing self-awareness
  • Hold Mike accountable to his objectives
  • Encourage Mike to identify and build a peer group

3. Building Loyal Team Members and Loyal Customers: Identifying team solutions

It’s an ongoing process, but Mike is transforming LEG-TECH into an effective, goal-driven agency under Tom’s “Building Loyal Customers and Valued Team Members” approach.

Instead of guessing at customer expectations, Mike empowers his team at LEG-TECH to go out and gather clear, actionable feedback from their customers and to use this feedback to set project priorities and agency goals.

Using PXT assessments, Mike identified new leadership roles within his teams. These team leaders now manage projects and approach agency goals with structured accountability.

Tom also encouraged Mike to bring in additional talent to build awareness and recognition among his customer base. As a result LEG-TECH is emerging as a trusted asset of the Legislature, and public transparency and satisfaction rates have improved significantly.

The team at LEG-TECH is fully-engaged and working together to identify and achieve common goals. Finally they are building a real way to measure success.

From LEG-TECH Director Rohrbach

Tom has been invaluable to me as a personal coach. In short, I am becoming a much more effective leader as a direct result of his coaching, advice and influence. By referring back to a basic set of leadership principles, Tom has kept me on the right track not only in my development as a leader but in how I am mentoring and developing other leaders in my agency.