LCL’s Partnership with Bolloré: Team Leadership Coaching and The Art of Motivating

The Beginning

Leaders Create Leaders’ partnership with Bolloré Logistics Vietnam — a regional integrated logistics company — has led to practical solutions for their HR Management. With over a dozen participants to date, we wanted to discuss ways that LCL has impacted the company’s management.

To date, 19 of Bolloré’s leaders in Vietnam have participated including sales, branch, import, accounting, Sea and Export Managers, Credit and Operations Controllers, as well as HR managers.

It all started when Mr. Vuong Chi Dung attended one of LCL’s free half-day workshops (teasers) led by Coach Warren, and the rest is history. A small group of participants talked to their big boss about participation in LCL programming including other in-house workshops and trainings, in which twelve of their managers have participated in Hanoi and HCMC trainings, as well seven managers having joined LCL’s flagship Leadership Coaching Program.

We caught up with Mr. Dung and here are some of the things he had to share about Bolloré’s participation in LCL.

Defining Leadership

According to him, the biggest reason that this partnership has worked is that the company’s Managing Director had, over the course of four years, demonstrated leadership and support for coaching practices. “He left us with a lot of autonomy.” This is what we call “Executive Buy-In” which happens when top company leadership supports important shifts or changes, something we can attribute to Mr. Dung’s intentionality.

Mr. Dung defines leadership as “the action or behavior of leading a group in the organization. It can be considered as the art of motivating people to act towards achieving company goals or objectives” [emphasis added].

And true to the practical spirit of a logistics company, the art of motivating people is something very practical. According to Mr. Dung, leadership coaching happens in ordinary interactions including daily conversations, meetings, project coordination, as well as during their annual performance appraisal, a practice we saw at Abbott Laboratories, as well.

As the HR & Admin Manager, he is responsible for overseeing the professional development of the company’s employees which is no small feat. But the support he has received from the Managing Director has helped him appreciate leadership skills which include communication, interpersonal relationships, and emotional intelligence. To him, true leadership focuses on the people and demonstrates to them that you care.

This alignment between Bolloré’s and our values — such as people-centered leadership — has had a powerful impact on the company. According to Mr. Dung, the turnover rate at Bolloré is less than 10% per year and the retention rate exceeds 80% yearly. Additionally, more than 50% of employees have been at the company for more than 5 years of which 80% of those employees have been there for more than 10 years!

By promoting a supportive working culture, Bolloré sees their workforce as a kind of family and values such as fair competition are shown by regular salary and bonus reviews, transparent and proportionate reward structures, and importantly, creating an environment in which “people can speak up easily. ”

Team Leadership Coaching

Here lies the key: Bolloré is employing Team Leadership Coaching techniques that demonstrate how much they care about employees by creating an environment in which people can speak freely without retribution. Inter-team communication and professional development go hand-in-hand with company profit and innovation.

The success of this shift in the company’s work culture is deliberate and shown not only in employee retention but in the everyday, one-to-one interactions that encourage employees to step out of their comfort zones. In other words, LCL has given their HR operation tools for promoting employees internally, and there are several examples of how this has taken place within the past few months.

And it is in some of LCL’s trainings and workshops that employees have encountered this challenge and received some of the tools to go just one step further. In truth, most people will admit that they want to grow, it’s just that often we are not sure exactly how. We encounter plateaus in our development and that is where a leader comes along to challenge our potential.

Using Team Leadership Coaching techniques means that managers are able to work together to set expectations for employees and from an HR perspective this has lots of value because sometimes you discover that a given employee is getting bored with their tasks or another employee just needs a gentle push to take on a new role.

The work of Leaders Create Leaders is one of soul: We value people as individuals in the most powerful way possible. And, in doing so, we cultivate leadership and coaching cultures within companies. In the case of Bolloré, they have taken on the soul of LCL and turned Team Leadership Coaching into practical — or should we say — logistical success.