Contributed by Alisa Cohn, Executive Coach


“Ain’t nothin’ like success!” Carol said to me when I walked into her office right before Christmas. Good news – finally! Carol played for me a voicemail that someone had left her that morning – one of those nice voicemails you save to make yourself feel better when you are having a bad day.

It had been a rough 6 months. Carol runs a large division of a major high tech company. Her team had spent almost a year looking for a very specific kind of company to buy at the right price, finally landing on a hot start-up that fit the bill – let’s call it “Fire Water.” Negotiating the deal took forever with lots of nitpicking, but it turned out that was the easy part. Once the acquisition was completed, the hard part started: integrating Fire Water’s new people and systems into the company without disrupting everyone and everything in the process.

“I’ve done acquisitions for 20 years and I have never seen issues like this,” Carol had said at the time. “On our end, we have had a lot of missteps. The Fire Water folks are in a near mutiny. It’s become this bad marriage because the good people have 2 year handcuffs. We actually need them, they can’t leave, and so we’re all stuck.

There was so much broken that it was distracting. As we talked that day, Carol got her head together. You can’t focus on everything, you can only focus on one thing. After discussing trade-offs, Carol decided to focus on gaining traction by generating quick wins.

Quick wins are the life support system of any major change initiative. In case you haven’t noticed, there are plenty of skeptics and naysayers out there. Getting points on the board quickly and visibly serves as tangible proof of success, even if it’s small. People want to be a part of success. Quick wins also send a strong message that you are not going away, so waiting for this latest initiative to pass by is not an option for people.  Read More: Using Quick Wins


About Alisa Cohn. I am an Executive Coach who helps executives and other leaders be more successful. We work together to hone your leadership and communication so you get more of what you want out of your team. You will sell your ideas more easily and put those ideas into action faster. I also conduct leadership and management training and plan and facilitate off sites. If you want to discuss these topics or any others for your organization, email me at or call me at 347-394-3573. You can check out past newsletters, my articles, and stay up to date by going to my website: