The failure rate of new executives is surprisingly high, the impacts of which can be far reaching.

  • Research from CEB (Corporate Executive Board), a subsidiary of Gartner, estimates that 50-70% of executives fail within 18 months of taking on a new role, regardless of whether they were an external hire or promoted from within.

  • Only 29% of U.S. leaders, and 32% of global leaders, feel their organizations appropriately support new leaders. And as many as 74% of U.S. leaders, and 83% of global leaders, think they are unprepared for their new roles. 1

  • Collateral impacts go well beyond poor performance and missed goals. Another study found that when leaders struggle through a transition, the performance of their direct reports is 15% lower than it would be with high-performing leaders. And those direct reports are also 20% more likely to be disengaged or to leave the organization - a significant impact as the war on talent continues. 2

The need for, and benefit of, targeted support for executive leadership is clear.


“The most impactful leadership support simultaneously focuses on the HOW - the ability to lead, direct, and motivate - and the WHAT - the ability to define and execute a strategy to address the challenges and opportunities each business faces in these turbulent times,” explains Karen May, ECC Executive Partner and former CHRO, Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods Inc. “Leadership support now needs to be more targeted, more precise, and better tailored to C-Suite leaders and the pressures they face.”

ECC has introduced a solution - coach/advisor dual support at the executive level.

Executive coaching combined with executive mentoring is a powerful, hybrid coaching model growing both in need and demand, in particular at the C-Suite level. While the Executive Coach enhances the How - the inner game of leadership -  by placing additional emphasis on shifting limiting thinking patterns that drive leadership effectiveness behaviors, the C-Suite Advisor supports the What with invaluable subject matter expertise that comes from direct experience of having successfully faced similar challenges and pressures. The combination of helping C-Suite leaders with both the How and the What has proved to be incredibly powerful.

“Specific to C-Suite advisor support, we are finding three critical times where our ECC Executive Partners (seasoned industry leaders) add significant value for leaders and businesses,” states Kathy Green, Managing Partner of Executive Coaching Connections, ECC:

1.  Executive leaders preparing for or stepping into a new C-Suite role.

C-Suite advisors help new and aspiring C-Suite leaders transition and adapt faster to the demands of the position with greater success. Examples include:

    • Guidance on strategic focus amidst business pressures;
    • Building board and executive team relationships;
    • Developing and retaining top talent;
    • Achieving strategic and organizational alignment and consensus;
    • Preparing and communicating with external organizations; and,
    • Managing difficult situations such as board activists.


2.   Market disruption significantly impacting the business.

C-Suite advisors help C-Suite leaders lead more effectively through disruption by providing perspectives, insights, and alternatives grounded in their direct experience in similar situations. Examples include:

    • Leading through transformative change;
    • Mitigating regulation and risk;
    • Optimizing organizational agility; and,
    • Seeing around the corners to avoid potential blind spots.


3.   Fast-tracking high growth opportunities.

C-Suite advisors add value by helping leaders:

    • Lead technology and digitization;
    • Balance short-term pressures with long-term sustainability;
    • Build and solidify strategic alliances;
    • Win in emerging markets;
    • Optimize investments; and,
    • Inspire innovation.

“We are seeing tremendous growth in the C-Suite coach/advisor dual support model,” explains Kathy. “With 20 years of proven experience in executive coaching, over 80% of which is at the C-Suite/executive level, ECC is excited to add a powerful cohort of Executive Partners to our already successful executive coaching service offering. Executive Partners are a diverse and highly successful group of industry leaders and Board members, who are committed to paying forward their expertise to help today’s C-Suite leaders accelerate success.”

Through this highly collaborative, dual coach/advisor approach, today’s C-Suite leaders can strengthen and enhance their leadership style; transition more effectively; lead with greater confidence; and, navigate business pressures and challenges more adeptly with better clarity. The result? Simply put - better results faster.

To learn more, view and download ECC Executive Partners At-A-Glance by clicking here.


1  Matt Paese and Richard S. Wellins, Leaders in transition: Stepping up, not off, Development Dimensions International,; and “Ascending to the C-suite,” April 2015.

2  CEB Blogs, “Corporate finance: The cost of poor leadership transitions,” blog entry by Kruti Bharucha and Nitika Dial, October 29, 2013,


ECC has an experienced global team of executive coaches and C-Suite advisors who are certified, trained, and highly skilled in providing specialized support for executive leaders, leadership teams, and organizations. If you or your organization are looking to onboard or prepare an executive leader for a new role to drive business results and accelerate success, we’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Email us at [email protected] or give us a call at +1.847.920.0190.


Karen May is an ECC Executive Partner based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Karen is a proven business leader with over 35 years’ experience in the consumer products and healthcare industries, most recently as EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods Inc. and Corporate VP and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Baxter International Inc. Karen’s impressive track record of driving successful, large-scale business transformations and performance through leadership of large, global, human resources organizations is further backed by her extensive VP-level finance and controller experience. In 2017, Karen was one of 3 CHROs named to Human Resources Executive Magazine’s HR Honor Roll. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ace Hardware Corporation and Alcon Inc.


Kathy Green, PCC, is ECC's Managing Partner and an Executive Coach based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Kathy hails with over 30 years of proven experience in HR leadership. Since founding ECC 20 years ago in 2001, Kathy developed ECC’s proprietary methodology that, along with her leadership, has fueled ECC to become a global leader in executive coaching, leadership team & leadership development, and organizational effectiveness. Prior to ECC, Kathy led human resources and organizational development efforts both domestically and internationally at Baxter, Kraft Foods, and Ameritech. Kathy is currently adjunct faculty in the Advanced Management Program at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business. She holds a BA in Psychology and Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin and completed studies in Cognitive Restructuring at the Harvard Mind/Body Institute.