testimonial - abn amro group

In 2005-2007 Mitchell Leadership Consulting designed and delivered a Leadership Development program for global bank ABN AMRO, entitled “Managing for Growth.” It became the flagship development program of the international private bank and continues to this day.

Reinout van Lennep, former Managing Director and Head of International Private Banking, ABN AMRO Group, reviews John Mitchell and the delivery team…

I met John Mitchell in 2005 when I was working as a senior banker in ABN AMRO in Zurich, in Switzerland. He ran a number of programmes that I attended and as such I got to know him very well.

John is a professional - in every sense of the word: he’s got a very long track record, he’s very international, he’s both technically and theoretically very well grounded, and when it comes to leadership issues he is particularly knowledgeable. But that’s not enough in my view to be effective.

John is a good listener and a good speaker, in that order. He is also firm and outspoken, be it in a respectful and tactful way. People immediately feel comfortable with him and do not feel inhibited to ask questions or to enter into a dialogue with him.  All very important in my view to create and safeguard a successful program.

He has a number of co-workers within his organisation who are visibly well educated, trained and moulded in what I would like to describe as the "Mitchell Way."

The moments I actually remember best are the role-play evaluations that we did together. Here I could see the professionalism and the experience of John spontaneously in action.

Participants were usually asked to prepare a short role-play, usually highlighting or dealing with a certain leadership style dilemma or a management issue. John particularly impressed me with his ability to immediately grasp the strengths and the weaknesses of a performance and also to give constructive advice for improvement both on the technical and the human side of successful leadership.

He always provided crystal clear and convincing examples and anecdotes. Very few people, in my experience, can do this effectively and convincingly. It gave the participants excellent takeaways, whereas at the same time, in my view as important, everybody felt proud and positive about their contribution.

When people ask me “What skills should good coaches/trainers possess?” my answer is actually simple and clear: not just technical skills, that is must and a given. What makes the difference is, strong listening and speaking skills, empathy, multi-jurisdictional and -cultural experience, and language skills in order to understand what it means for people to express themselves in a foreign language.

In my view, John has them all.

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