Case Study

Leadership Development for Managers at Refineries of Large European Energy Company


  • Portuguese corporation consisting of +100 companies engaged in petroleum products exploration, production, refining, trading, logistics and retailing; natural gas supply, regasification, transport, storage, and distribution; co-generation and renewable energy.

  • Need to engage managers at the refineries to implement a new culture and leadership style in a highly unionized environment.


  • Extensive diagnosis was conducted including interviews with selected managers at the refineries, focus groups and shadowing.

  • An ad-hoc leadership development program was designed consisting of three one-day workshops extended over a 3 month period, with follow-up between sessions including team dynamics, buddy-system, and individual coaching.

  • A handbook with the highlights of the program was produced and used as a communication tool for the managers to engage their teams, as well as new team members that would join the organization in the future.


  • Initial resistance and skepticism was translated into a positive energy and motivation of the managers that became ambassadors of the program and lead its extension in the organization.