News & Insight
November 2013

Case Study: Leadership Development for 41 Leaders

The Client

Public Services Enterprise Group (PSEG) is a publicly traded diversified energy company with revenues of over $9 billion. The company was named to Fortune Magazine’s 2012 List of Most Admired Companies.

The Situation

PSEG desired an impactful leadership development program for 41 Vice Presidents and high potential Senior Directors who lead over 10,000 union and non-union employees. The goal was to provide an experience that would help Participants gain self-awareness, collect critical feedback and to use this information to develop their skills as leaders.

Program Objectives

  • To increase Participant’s self-awareness of strengths and key developmental areas.
  • To assist Participant in developing greater trust and engagement within their business units, across their operating company and throughout the enterprise.
  • To begin to change PSEG’s culture by asking leaders to focus not just on achieving results, but also on how results are achieved (e.g. through effective leadership behaviors).
  • To provide a developmental program “en masse” in order to promote a cascading organizational effect, but one that was also personalized for individual development.
  • To deliver all of this at an attractive cost-per-participant.

The Solution:

WJM Associates was selected by PSEG to deliver a customized and coordinated leadership development experience for these Participants. The process included:

1. Planning: WJM partnered with PSEG’s Talent and Development staff to agree on the overall goals and objectives. Key project items included:

  • Executive buy-in and commitment
  • Communication plan
  • Customized materials
  • Measures of success
  • Confidentiality guidelines

With input from PSEG, WJM confirmed core leadership competencies for the Participants, as well as “leadership fundamentals” for specific technical areas such as Finance, Nuclear, Information Technology, etc. These items were incorporated by WJM into customized 360° interview questions.

2. PSEG Participant Interviews and Assessment: A WJM Coach met with each Participant to introduce the PSEG Leadership Engagement and Development (LEAD) program and its confidentiality guidelines, and to learn about the Participant’s past and present roles, challenges, significant learnings, and perceived strengths and developmental opportunities. This was followed by an interview between the Coach and the Participant’s immediate manager. WJM then administered an online Hogan assessment to each Participant.

3. 360° Interviews: Over 330 in-person or phone interviews were scheduled by WJM’s Program Coordinator over a two month period. The goal was to understand how colleagues perceive and experience each Participant. WJM strived to gain input from a minimum of three raters per category to ensure confidentiality.

4. Feedback Session: Findings from the interviews and Hogan were summarized in a WJM Leadership Effectiveness Assessment for Development™ (LEAD™) report which was delivered to each Participant in a feedback session by his/her Coach. The LEAD™ report culminated in a Developmental Action Plan to be completed by the Participant with support from the Coach. The Coach facilitated a three-way meeting with the Participant and his/her immediate manager to agree on developmental opportunities and a plan to move forward.

5. Targeted Developmental Opportunities: Once the three-way meeting took place and the Development Action Plan was ratified, the formal PSEG LEAD program concluded. However, additional support, including coaching against developmental plan objectives, is being administered for some of the participants. Additionally, group development workshops and other initiatives are being considered to address organizational themes that were uncovered during the program.

Key Learnings to Date

The PSEG LEAD program allowed the organization to identify common developmental themes or potential derailers among Participants and begin plans for follow-on support to address developmental goals and gaps. In particular, there was a feeling that the PSEG LEAD program, with its emphasis on feedback-centered development, helped further promote the dynamic of “comfort speaking up” at the organization.

To date, the PSEG LEAD program has been viewed as a success for its personalized approach and incorporation of PSEG’s specific leadership competencies, leadership fundamentals and corporate values. The overall rating of the program in a Participant survey was 4.3 out of 5.0, indicating they found the program worthwhile and meaningful.


“The in-depth interview approach to collecting 360° feedback has changed the way we will conduct assessment and development planning moving forward. Leaders received constructive, specific, and actionable feedback that has made us more comfortable speaking up and has had a direct impact on changing behaviors.” - Sheila J. Rostiac, Vice President of Talent, Development & Diversity, PSEG

“Undoubtedly, the best, most effective process I have seen used at PSEG. Thanks for the opportunity.” - Participant

“My WJM coach was the brightest, most effective coach I have worked with and I have worked with numerous coaches in different countries and organizations over more than twenty years.” - Participant

“The feedback I received was more specific and actionable than numerous other assessments tools utilized in the past.” - Participant

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