Chase Callaway: On being a Delta Leadership Coaching Fellow

The Delta Leadership Coaching Fellows Program (LCF) is helping Goizueta students’ careers take flight. Through world-class lectures, professional executive coaching and hands-on leadership opportunities, fellows experience an immersive approach to leadership. The program, which fulltime or evening MBA students have to apply for, includes two distinct experiential learning opportunities: the first involves self-reflection and sessions with an executive coach, while the second sees fellows coaching the incoming class of first-year MBAs.

Emory Business spoke with Chase Callaway 20EvMBA, a senior consultant at FTI Consulting who is in his second year of the program, to hear his perspective on this unique opportunity.

Q: What have you learned about yourself in the process that was inhibiting you from being an effective leader?

The LCF program opened my eyes to the importance of healthy, constructive conflict within effective teams.
Prior to the program, I felt what I thought was a natural aversion to conflict within my teams. I have since learned how critical it is to build an environment of trust right off the bat that will lead to the best outcomes, not the outcomes that result from false consensus or being afraid to disagree with one another.

Q: Tell us about your coach.

My executive coach, Laurie Waller, has a background in management consulting and now coaches on a full-time basis. Laurie has been an incredibly perceptive and encouraging mentor throughout the LCF process. The insights she provided on the importance of authenticity, versatility and self-awareness as a leader have truly changed the lens through which I view the coaching process.

Q: You are now coaching first-years; how is that?

It’s an incredibly effective way of bringing the lectures and readings to life. There is no way to replicate the complications inherent in leading teams. In allowing LCFs to get their hands dirty in a low-risk environment, the program is able to drive home the ideas explored in class.

Q: Is there something you learned about yourself or a technique/tool that you are able to apply at your current job?

I have been able to identify and mitigate the common dysfunctions preventing most teams from becoming “high- performing.” It is vital to transition behavioral and team dynamic observations early on in a project into actionable steps to prevent a dysfunction from becoming problematic.

Q: Would you recommend the program to other students as it continues to evolve?

I would absolutely recommend the LCF program to any student looking to jumpstart their development and effectiveness as a leader or just as a member of any team. There are few, if any, opportunities in the working environment to practice these skills with so little risk and an executive coach providing help and insight throughout the learning process. — Breckyn Wood

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