Biogen Associate Director

Private Executive Coaching Success Story

 Happy, healthy directors effectively lead happy, healthy teams.

The Situation

Even leaders who are doing the best they can with the resources they have can be more productive while cutting back on the time they spend working.

Deb McMurray, Associate Director at Biogen, was heading a team where most people were working 60+ hours per week. Deb herself was working seven days a week and had left two previous jobs because of stress.

Her VP, Jen, knew that the team could not be successful being this overextended. So she brought Marcey in to work with their team of 20, as well as investing in 6-month private coaching packages for the Director and two Associate Directors, including Deb.

The Opportunity

At first, Deb was skeptical about working with Marcey. “I didn’t need someone telling me to drink more water. I have an accounting background. That’s not how it works for us,” said Deb. Deb thought she was as healthy and productive as possible given her situation. She assumed Marcey didn’t understand the nature of her “serious work,” which is cyclical, and she blamed her company for failing to staff appropriately during the busy times.

Having to work with Marcey felt like a punishment to Deb, “during our first session, I doubt I uncrossed my arms.” However, Marcey was thorough from the beginning. She asked Deb to fill out a questionnaire which Marcey reviewed before that first session, and she came prepared with recommendations right out of the gate. Deb signed a contract, and it was evident to her that Marcey meant business.

Quickly after that first session, Deb began to notice a difference. At first, she followed Marcey’s recommendations simply because they seemed easy enough. But then she began to look forward to her check-in calls to see what Marcey would recommend for any challenges that came up during the week.

The Results

Deb continues to follow Marcey’s recommendations. Because of Marcey, Deb has gone from spending nearly every waking hour on work to walking out the door of her office by 6:30pm and from working seven days a week to not logging into her work email on the weekends or outside of work. Also, after years of never taking a vacation, she spent a week at the Cape this summer. With her mind and environment decluttered, she gets the work done during reasonable work hours and accomplishes more than she did before.

I don’t come to work with a stomachache anymore. I come in ready to work on Monday, feeling recharged.

Not only is Deb more productive at work, but she also feels better than ever. Before working with Marcey, Deb was on a dieting roller coaster. She hated to shop and never had the time. Now Deb knows if she buys something new, she’ll fit into it in a year. She even wore a dress to work for the first time in four years.

Even more exciting for Deb is the transformation she has seen in her team:

Working with Marcey didn’t just affect me. It made me a better manager, yes. But it also made my team happier. There were many things Marcey taught me that we rolled out to our whole team. One person was struggling. Now I work with her each week to come up with her Top 3 Task list. I find myself paying Marcey’s great ideas forward. It’s not just about me.

Marcey’s techniques enabled Deb to bring her whole team in house saving her company money. Recently, when her team faced a 4-week internal audit requiring them to spend an additional 80-100 hours during their busiest time of the quarter and while being down two managers, they still managed to get everything done.

Deb is thrilled to report that the audit went great! “Happy teams take the time to document everything and follow proper procedures.” It is quite a feat for a team to pass an internal audit without having to make a single improvement. But this demonstrates the effectiveness of Marcey’s recommendations.

In the office, whenever a challenge arises, said Deb, we will often turn to each other and ask, “what would Marcey say about this?” All of this is a testament to Marcey, and the longstanding legacy of her unique approach.