Shields Meneley Partners

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How We Can Help


Throughout your career, there are many opportunities for advancement. Shields Meneley Partners has had the privilege of helping leaders make not just one, but multiple transitions to keep their careers and leadership roles moving forward. We know that each person and each job change is unique so we tailor our experience and process to you. We’re always eager to hear what you think is next and to help you create a strategy and plan to reach that goal.

Looking for a New Role

As a successful leader, you know that your tenure in a given role will come to an end and it will be time to pursue a new opportunity. This may happen on your terms when you have accomplished what you set out to do and are ready for a new challenge, or it may happen when strategic differences with a Board, or a change in control, triggers an end to your current role. Either way, we help our clients examine what’s next. We make no assumptions about what your next move may be since experience has shown us that personal and professional goals change with time. As a result, we have broad and diverse ways to support you to ensure a thoughtful and successful career transition.

Our Approach

This ten-step personalized process yields consistently positive results.

  • Your executive assessment – comprehensive and in-depth learning about you.
  • Your transition strategy and marketing plan.
  • Your personal brand clearly communicated in exceptional marketing collateral.
  • Your ability to integrate your network with ours and to sell yourself and your capabilities as a result of professional coaching.
  • Your future target clearly defined and researched by a sophisticated research analyst who finds industries, organizations and roles that match your specifications.
  • Your personal introduction to executives in search firms, private equity firms and target companies.
  • Your new contract – review and negotiation to ensure that you are adequately protected in times of change.
  • Your compensation – a study of competitive rewards for the work you’ll be doing to optimize your earnings and benefits in your next role.
  • Your detailed First 100 Day action plan to promote mutual understanding of key deliverables and how your performance will be measured.
  • Coaching during your first 100 days to discuss what you are learning and how you are performing against your plan.

What Our Clients Say

"I had resigned from a Fortune 100 Company and was immediately in the running for a significant CEO position. I didn’t get the job. I had only been out a few weeks so I wasn't concerned until Gail Meneley asked me the question, “Why didn’t you receive an offer?” I realized that I didn’t have a clear answer, and she responded, “Shouldn’t we find out?” That was my first taste of the “straight talk” approach that is at the heart of the Shields Meneley Partners’ practice. I had been referred to this unique firm by another CEO who had told me that they were people I would respect, who I could trust, and who would tell me what I needed to hear. It definitely was not what I expected from an 'outplacement' firm. From there, I embarked on the most extensive executive evaluation I had ever experienced. It included a variety of assessments and lengthy interviews with colleagues, board members and others I had worked with and for in past positions. The most critical take-away from more than a dozen interviews was this: If I didn’t improve certain skills I would never be the CEO of a Fortune 100 company. We identified a premier resource to work with me one-on-one, and now, others tell me that once what was a weakness, has become strength. The intensive, half-day feedback that was part of the executive assessment process examined the implications of what we had learned and raised potential red flags about the future. It made me more aware of my tendency to take on an exceptional level of personal and professional risk and to minimize the degree of difficulty involved in successfully executing complex corporate turnarounds. I continue to rely on the insights I developed during my work with Shields Meneley Partners, and believe that their advice and counsel have been of great help during the three years in my new role."
—CEO of a $12 Billion Global Company

"I had been with a health care system for more than 20 years. The stress had increased exponentially as I managed and integrated a complex series of mergers. I had not expected my position to be eliminated, and met with Gail Meneley and Hugh Shields soon after I was notified. They were professional, empathetic, and supportive. They made me feel like a valued colleague, not a “client”. Gail helped me shift my perspective from the past to “What do you want your future to be?” The in-depth assessment renewed my confidence in my experience and competence, and allowed me to recognize the many directions I could pursue. They showed me how to take control of my future. I recently accepted the position as COO of an architectural firm that specializes in the design of health care facilities. I am grateful for their insight and genuine enthusiasm that helped me see the possibilities and pursue a wonderful new career."
—COO of a Regional Health System located in Chicago

"I was offered executive outplacement services of my choice and after interviewing several firms, chose to work with Hugh Shields and Gail Meneley. The opportunity to sit back and assess my career and career options was invaluable, and the guidance and professionalism that Hugh and Gail offered was outstanding. Many executives in transition are confronted with career choices …many choices… for the first time. I struggled with which direction I wanted to take and gained a clear understanding of my strengths and preferences. As a result of that effort, I have taken the position as Vice President of Strategy for a NASDAQ listed medical devices company. It’s been extraordinarily gratifying to move from pharmaceuticals to medical devices, and without Hugh and Gail’s support, I might not have found myself as well situated. I am confident that others will be fortunate to experience the same level of excellence that I did."
—Vice President of a Global Life Sciences Company

Starting a New Role

Beginning a new leadership role can be one of the most exciting and challenging experiences in your career, but unfortunately, research shows that 40% of new leaders fail in their first 18 months. Why? The reasons range from the inability to fit into the new culture, to not achieving operating goals, to strategic differences with members of the senior team or the Board. This is where we come in. Our experience helping thousands of executives build trust in the first 18 months has given us unique insight into how you can achieve success.

Our Approach

  • Understand the commitments you’ve made going into your new role, how your performance will be measured, and your timeline for success.
  • Define the culture, assess the executive leadership team, identify opportunities for early wins, and eliminate obstacles to your success.
  • Ensure that you have the support of key decision-makers and feedback from an external coach to provide advice and support you in the new role.
  • Present a 100-Day Plan and gain agreement that the execution of that plan will determine how your performance is measured and rewarded.
  • Coach you through the first six months or longer as needed.

What Our Clients Say

"I worked with Gail Meneley for several months after separating from my employer. I credit her with providing critical input to my successful transition to a new role with a new company. I interviewed several career transition firms, but only met one firm that understood the needs of a senior executive. Many provided the expected outplacement services, i.e. resume writing, research, mailings, etc. but, when I met with Gail for the first time, I was immediately struck by her professionalism, experience, empathy and focus. She helped me work through the emotional impact of the transition, and focused me on the positive elements of transition. She distinguished herself with her personal approach. She offered actionable networking advice and provided immediate access to her own wide network of top industry contacts and former clients to answer questions about entry points to a target company and direct access to decision makers. Two parts of the process were of particular value. The first, the in-depth executive assessment feedback meeting, was enormously helpful. My wife and I spent an afternoon with Gail and Dan DeWitt, their staff psychologist, discussing the implications of the assessment on both the operating role, and the corporate culture where I would thrive. The second part of the process was "on-boarding" coaching after I accepted my new position. It had been a number of years since I had changed firms, and Gail and I spent time discussing my "100 Day Plan" so that I could hit-the-ground running and quickly demonstrate my value to my new organization. Simply remembering to take the time to listen and learn how a new company really works, and how the other members of the senior team interact, was critically important. My experience with Gail was outstanding. Her hands-on, experience-driven approach is unique, and her confidential advice and counsel was invaluable."
—Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer

“I had been recruited from GE to be a change agent, and was naïve enough to believe that my new company actually wanted me to drive change ‘the GE way.' I soon learned that the bias-for-action that had served me so well at GE worked against me in a new organization that was deeply bound by tradition.

Gail and I developed a course of action that enabled me to turn the situation around by building alliances across the organization and creating win/win outcomes. I benefited greatly from working with a coach, but more importantly, so did our shareholders. I earned two promotions in 14 months, and our team delivered a 28% improvement in net income during the same period!”
—Division President, $5 billion Commercial Printing Companyer

Changing Careers

We live in an era of multiple careers. Our clients have shown that it’s possible to change roles and industries and continue to be successful. Many Boards and leadership teams value diverse experience and a fresh point of view and their position specifications reflect that perspective. If changing your career appeals to you or you are in the midst of making such a change, we’d like to talk to you and see if we can be of help. If you think you are ready for a change, but aren’t sure what a change would entail, we’d be happy to show you what’s possible.

Our Approach

This ten-step personalized process yields consistently positive results.

  • Your executive assessment – comprehensive and in-depth learning about you.
  • Your transition strategy and marketing plan.
  • Your personal brand clearly communicated in exceptional marketing collateral.
  • Coaching to enhance your ability to integrate your network with yours and to sell yourself and your capabilities.
  • Your future target clearly defined and researched by a sophisticated research analyst who finds industries, organizations and roles that match your target.
  • Your personal introduction to executives in search firms, private equity firms and target companies.
  • Your new contract – review and negotiation to ensure that you are adequately protected in times of change.
  • Your compensation – a rewards study to optimize your earnings and benefits in your next role.
  • Your detailed First 100 Day action plan to promote mutual understanding of key deliverables and how your performance will be measured.
  • Coaching during your first 100 days to discuss what you are learning and how you are performing against your plan.

What Our Clients Say

"Just three weeks after being recruited as a top finance executive for a leading bank, an unexpected corporate reorganization left me without a position. That’s when I met Gail Meneley, and it may very well have been one of the best things to ever happen to me. Up until that moment, my career had been on a steady upward trajectory. I had established an international reputation in finance and was reaping the financial success I had worked so hard to achieve. At the earliest stages of my career transition, Gail sensed that there was something important missing in my life, and helped lead me through an amazing journey of self-examination and exploration. Knowing that she was a former CEO who had been through a similar transition helped establish her credibility, and I immediately trusted her experience and insight. At the outset, I would never have guessed that I would eventually open a gallery and pursue a lifelong passion for collecting and design that had been fueled by my international travel. Success can be measured in many ways, but Gail helped me realize that fully integrating one’s values, life, and career was the most important one, and worth any risk it demanded. I could not have come this far without her mentoring and coaching.”
—An International Finance Executive

Moving Into Retirement

When executives are ready to leave full-time operating roles and to ease into the early phases of retirement, they often ask our help in finding Board opportunities, part-time consulting roles, or pro-bono assignments with non-profits. They want to remain intellectually engaged but seek a different work/life balance. We help them clarify what they are seeking, surface opportunities through our extensive network, and make introductions that can lead to a new, often more satisfying, role. If this kind of future is in sight for you or you’d like to learn more about it, we’d love to listen and see how me may be able to help.

Improving Your Performance

Professional athletes have one or more coaches to help them consistently improve their performance. Over the past decade, more and more executives have worked with a coach to improve their business performance. Why? Because they want to continue their professional development as a leader and fulfill the performance goals entrusted to them. And because they believe having a dedicated advisor/coach offers them a performance advantage.

Our Approach to Being An Executive Advisor and Coach

  • Our only agenda is your professional success. So, we begin by listening.
  • Together, we look at current results, any gaps to expected performance, and your plan to close those gaps. As peer-level executives, we’ll raise helpful questions and challenge our collective thinking, and ensure you have the best plan going forward.
  • If you are meeting performance goals in your current role, but have ambitions to go beyond them, we’ll help you take your performance to the next level.
  • We provide advice and coaching to help you reach or exceed your professional and personal performance goals.

Looking for and Starting A Board Role

Being chosen to serve on a Board of Directors is an opportunity to share all of your knowledge, insight and wisdom gained during your career. Whether you have time to serve on one board or several, we’ll help you develop a strategy for board involvement and identify boards that match your target in the private and public sectors. And since research shows that more than 85% of board roles are identified and secured through high level networking, we will introduce you to executives and board members you need to know to become a viable and desirable candidate.

We understand the different roles boards play across a wide spectrum of industries and organizations. We know the process and timelines for board selection, the responsibilities of board members, terms of service, and compensation. We will be happy to share the many benefits of serving a board, the time commitment required, and how you can enrich your career with board work.

New Board members often retain us to help them begin their board role in a way that establishes their credibility and builds trust with other board members. We’ve also helped board members understand their roles as committee chairs, ascend to board leadership, and transition off of a board.

Our work with clients pursuing board work is highly customized. We look forward to hearing what you want to do and exploring how we can help.

Becoming An Entrepreneur

A number of our clients want to explore an entrepreneurial path. They are either first-timers coming from corporate C-suite roles or they are serial entrepreneurs who want to do it again. We first confirm that their unique experience, personality, and skillsets are the right match for the venture they have in mind. If the fit is right, we enthusiastically support the acquisition of an existing business, or the planning and funding of a start-up venture. And we don’t stop there. We work with their new leadership teams and help them build a board of advisors or directors. If you’re ready to become an entrepreneur but aren’t sure what to expect or how to go about making the transition, we’d be happy to show you what’s possible.

Our Approach

This eight-step personalized process yields consistently positive results.

  • Your executive assessment – a comprehensive and in-depth learning about your potential as an entrepreneur as well as the potential landmines that can derail a new venture.
  • Your personal transition strategy and plan.
  • Your professional brand clearly communicated in exceptional marketing collateral – whether you are joining a firm or starting your own business.
  • Your future target clearly defined by a sophisticated research analyst who examines industries, organizations, and markets that match your specifications.
  • Your network expands exponentially when it is integrated with ours, and professional coaching equips you to better sell yourself and your capabilities.
  • Your personal introduction to executives in search firms, private equity, and target companies.
  • Your stipend for legal work can be applied to the review of an employment  contract, or used for guidance in the formation of your company.
  • Your compensation study will optimize your financial leverage in any
    new venture.
  • Your detailed 100 Day Plan to ensure the best possible start.
  • Coaching during your first 100 days to ensure successful execution. 

What Our Clients Say

"Just three weeks after being recruited as a top finance executive for a leading bank, an unexpected corporate reorganization left me without a position. That’s when I met Gail Meneley, and it may very well have been one of the best things to ever happen to me. Up until that moment, my career had been on a steady upward trajectory. I had established an international reputation in finance and was reaping the financial success I had worked so hard to achieve. At the earliest stages of my transition, Gail sensed that there was something important missing in my life, and helped lead me through an amazing journey of self-examination and exploration. Knowing that she was a former CEO who had been through a similar transition helped establish her credibility, and I immediately trusted her experience and insight. At the outset, I would never have guessed that I would eventually open a gallery and pursue a lifelong passion for collecting and design that had been fueled by my international travel. Success can be measured in many ways, but Gail helped me realize that fully integrating one’s values, life, and career was the most important one, and worth any risk it demanded. I could not have come this far without her mentoring and coaching.”
—An International Finance Executive

   

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