Coaching and Leadership Essentials


Background: DIRECTV delivers all-digital satellite-based services to U.S. and Latin American customers in homes and businesses using some of the world’s most advanced technologies.


DIRECTV began in 1994 as the first company to deliver all-digital, high-power, multi-channel TV programming services via an 18” satellite dish. DIRECTV is now a leader in innovation and quality. In addition, DIRECTV has an unwavering commitment to provide extraordinary customer service. For the tenth year in a row, DIRECTV scored higher in customer satisfaction than any other cable/satellite company measured in the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Challenge: Entelechy was asked to support an enterprise-wide leadership development initiative designed to inculcate DIRECTV’s leadership with the skills and competencies needed to effectively lead at DIRECTV. The challenge was to develop and roll out a practical yet impactful enterprise-wide coaching and employee engagement program to over 3500 leaders throughout the United States and Latin America.

Working with a specially created DIRECTV Project Team, Entelechy utilized data gathered by surveying all functions within the organization and examining existing supervisor, management, and leadership training. It was determined that a consistent, simple, and effective coaching model would benefit the organization in its effort to build solid leaders. In addition, a common language and solid leadership skills would provide leaders with the tools to support the accomplishment of DIRECTV’s goals.

As a result of the challenge faced by DIRECTV, an amazing opportunity emerged. While DIRECTV recognized the need for leadership training, the training needed to be engaging and job-focused; and the skills, techniques, and tools practical, simple, and immediately applicable in a fast-moving, constantly changing environment. In the past, DIRECTV had management training — this needed to be different. The focus needed to be on implementation, retention, reinforcement, and accountability. With this in mind, Coaching and Leadership Essentials was born!

Solution: Working with the DIRECTV Project Team, Entelechy created DIRECTV’s three-day Coaching and Leadership Essentials (CLE) program.

Coaching and Leadership Essentials trains leaders to build productive, meaningful relationships with employees, to lead effectively, and to develop talent and bench strength through deliberate coaching and performance management. Included in the CLE program is a 180° feedback survey. The results are shared with participants as a critical part of the program and interim activities.

The components of the CLE program include:


Entelechy also created a second high-level support program developed to target DIRECTV leaders at the Director level and above. Designed for the Director and VP audience, Advanced Coaching and Leadership Essentials (ACLE) is a condensed version of the Coaching and Leadership Essentials program with a strong focus toward on-the-job support of the skills and models.

While a key thrust of ACLE is to help CLE participants develop talent and bench strength through deliberate performance management, the goal of ACLE is to support and leverage that learning to develop bench strength and a culture of coaching throughout the organization.

The components of the ACLE program include:

  1. Precourse: One-hour computer-based training (CBT) and self-study.
  2. 360° feedback survey results report shared in a half-day session prior to Day One of the Advanced Coaching and Leadership Essentials program.
  3. Two-day, instructor led customized coaching and leadership program designed to provide Directors and above with the insight and techniques they need to support their leaders who are scheduled to attend CLE.
  4. Reinforcement activities designed to support leaders attending CLE.

Both Coaching and Leadership Essentials and Advanced Coaching and Leadership Essentials include hands-on, experiential learning through the following:

  • Use of true-to-life scenarios in role plays and feedback sessions to build competence and confidence in the use of the models and techniques.
  • Completion of the Management Action Plan (MAP) by each participant to set goals and plan specific on-the-job application of the skills and techniques learned in the training.
  • A creative leadership simulation experienced as an interactive challenge where behaviors and insights are applied to participant’s specific leadership challenges.
    Experiential activities, demonstrations, customized video examples, and topic-related videos are incorporated to bring the learning to life and ensure key learning and implementation.
  • Mini case studies and analysis.
    The process of creating the CLE and ACLE programs consisted of:
  • Interviewing DIRECTV leadership (Site Directors, L&D senior and mid –level executives, and senior stakeholders) for support and involvement from the top.
  • Conducting management and team leader focus groups in all sites throughout the United States and Latin America, creating buy-in and an opportunity to gather critical insights for the creation of the program and rollout strategy.
  • Piloting the training to a select cross-section of participants to ensure that the training was impactful and applicable.
  • Involving regional HR and site management to lead the rollout of CLE and ACLE to ensure local buy-in and ongoing support.
  • Conducting a week-long Train-the-Trainer program for both programs to an internal group of leaders/trainers who were identified to deliver the program across the sites.

Results: Feedback on the application of the skills learned in Coaching and Leadership Essentials and Advanced Coaching and Leadership Essentials has been extremely positive from participants, their immediate managers, and senior leadership. The comments shared by participants during the pilot stage have been particularly encouraging. Participants found the skills and techniques useful and practical with the expectation being that extraordinary results will be accomplished across the enterprise leadership teams:

“We appreciate the simplicity of the model and how having a common framework and language will promote consistency among our leaders.” – Director, Operations, Home Services Division

“We will be able to use all of this in Latin American. This is not just training. These programs are a way to help set expectations around what DIRECTV wants us to be as leaders and what we want our culture to look like.” – Senior HR Analyst, Latin American Division

“Not only will I use this coaching model, I will also add a standing agenda item to my one-on-ones with my direct reports around the progress they are making with the coaching of their teams.” – Senior Director Field Services Training, Enterprise

“The activities really hit home in terms of reinforcing some of the key messages of the training and allowing us to see how the content relates to the reality of our world.” – Manager, Customer Care

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