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Leadership Coaching

With millions of newly eligible insured coming online in 2014 under the Heath Exchange Program, Monarch, Inc., began exploring the benefits of investing in a large-scale marketing campaign. Blake, Chief Development Officer at Monarch, was set to lead the initiative and sought Catchafire’s help.

the challenge

At 27 years young, Blake felt he would really benefit from professional coaching to help him understand his leadership style better and prepare him to lead his first large-scale brand campaign.


  • Learn how to present a proposal to a group and help them understand its value when the ROI is not always in hard and fast figures.
  • Overcome the challenges of limited budget
    dollars within the organization.

The match

  • Monarch posts a Leadership Coaching Project.
  • Sylvana, a cross-cultural strategist applies.
  • After a two-way interview, facilitated by Catchafire, Blake and Sylvana accept the match.

“I chose this project because I felt like it was an opportunity to coach someone in something that I have experience in and that comes naturally to me where as for that person it wasn’t as natural. I felt that the potential in making a difference in Blake’s leadership was tremendous because he was willing to grow and learn new things.”
— Sylvana

The solution

  • Blake and Sylvana meet to discuss expectations, perceived areas of strength and areas of improvement, leadership style, assessment of team motivation and morale.
  • Blake and Sylvana decide on specific areas to focus on, goals for coaching sessions and what they each will deliver by the end of the project.
  • They set up an 8 week schedule leading up to Blake’s big negotiation including preparation and goals for each of their 90 minute meetings.
  • Blake and Sylvana skype during each meeting to discuss leadership and negotiation skills, and to tackle any challenges that come up. They share real experiences and discuss learnings from case studies and expert articles.
  • Blake and Sylvana reach the end of their weeks together and evaluate lessons learned, progress made and what to focus on going forward.

The result

Sylvana’s coaching allowed Blake to take control of his conversations and seamlessly negotiate his presentation.

“My sessions with Sylvana were impactful on my professional and personal life. She has an ability to listen and observe without judgment; this makes coaching and constructive understanding much easier. Sylvana also has the highest degree of professionalism. Her diverse experience provides her with the ability to empathize with her client and truly “get into” the challenges that are presented to the client. I felt as if she were a part of my
team and understood each issue that we discussed.”

The impact

Blake learned how to negotiate within a leadership role to get what is best for the organization in a calm and productive way. He is using this knowledge to support his team and coach them to be more effective leaders.

“I used the techniques she taught me and my presentation was almost way too perfect. I use all of those things for my personal gain but really to be an omniscient view for the organization. As an officer, that’s my job and we don’t always remember that. I think I’m a better manager and better leader by figuring out my leadership style.”
- Blake

“Its been inspiring for me to be able to see how my coaching and support of someone else can
actually shift the way that person operates in his environment. I realized how much impact one person’s contribution to another can have; if that other person takes that and runs with it - as Blake did - they could transform the entire organization. Here, I became keenly aware of that potential.”
- Sylvana

Sylvana’s 25-hour project resulted in $10K saved for Monarch.

The Organization
Monarch is committed to supporting, educating, and empowering people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and substance abuse issues to choose and achieve what is important to them. Monarch provides residential, day program, behavioral health and community supports statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges from more than 50 North Carolina counties.
The Volunteer
Sylvana is an expert at launching brand new initiatives and troubleshooting existing ones, with a focus on providing organizations and individuals with tools and sustainable solutions to reach their objectives. She’s managed programs globally and led negotiation and sustainability management workshops for organizations such as the European Commission and the WWF in West Africa. She works with a variety of individuals to support them in achieving measurable results in their lives and careers.