Case Study # 401
A number of issues are exposed in this case study that address human relationships in the workplace, effective leadership, teamwork and followership. This case study is an attempt to identify and recommend ways to improve these relationships. From the information that has been presented, I believe that a lack of skills in managing the situation and a lack of experience in working successfully at senior levels in organization resulted in a failure to keep up with corporate expectations. George Dungee is enterprising, inventive and visionary young man who at 29 years of age landed the position of senior marketing specialist. Whilst George is capable and creative it seems that he doesn’t like to be constrained and he lacks the skills in managing relationships with senior colleagues who have been at the company for some time and have been delivering results based on a certain process. He loves possibilities but also appears to neglect to value other people’s thoughts and opinions. To date he’s managed himself and doesn’t appear to have been managed. To me the case presents a situation where a talented ambitious individual, George, has been moved up corporate ladder faster than others based on his accomplishments. What George hasn't learned yet in his case is the political skills to handle a challenge where his ability to sell isn't enough. George in this case in his vigor to advance his career has blind ambition, which prevents him from listening and adapting to working for division senior manager Paul Berrio. Paul's management style is more old school approach of direction than collaboration based. However I think George’s colleagues are looking at the fact that no manager would tolerate his reaction in the meeting especially if the person reacting has no established political capital or record of successful performance. Gorge refused to listen to Paul's directions showing a lack of respect on top of the lack of respect shown in directly challenging Paul's goals. George has a very good idea to present and if he acknowledges the fact that the airlines wouldn’t simply write off an investment already made in an infrastructure he probably would be able to sell his idea using the established infrastructure. George's lack of experience here showed as a person with the years of experience, in this case Paul, would know that large capital investments can't simply be written off because of an unproven new idea (no matter how good the idea is). What is apparent is that Tracy McFarlane put George into a difficult position. What isn't clear is if that was done to make major changes in Paul's organization only or to see if George was ready to assume a leadership position in place of Paul eventually. Tracy did a poor job of preparing George for the challenge he had in working for Paul but it also put George in a position to show he could adapt to a difficult situation. To repair the relationship George will have to apologize to his boss for his confrontational approach and show the willingness to be a team player. Afterwards he will need to build a relationship of mutual respect, understanding and support. He cannot expect to be treated with respect while he treats a new line manager with total disregard. The situation here needs to be resolved quickly and a working relationship between the two men needs to be established. This will only happen when the subordinate shows some respect and modesty, and accepts help rather than challenges authority, as he was advised to do so by his promoter Tracy. In reality I think George may simply not have the skills to make this move. George's first step is to get an understanding of what his new role really entails, and perhaps decide if it genuinely is the right place for him to be. Again, a realistic conversation with his new boss might be the only way to achieve this kind of understanding.
George further hurts himself with Paul by continuing...
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