Leadership Assignment Examining Two Business Case Scenarios
The leadership assignment is based on the following cases:
Dashing to catch a cab at the corner of Sixth and Vine, the account team was exhilarated. After a quick exchange of high fives, three of the four jumped into the backseat of a cab to return to the Manhattan offices of Devereaux-Deering, a global advertising agency with offices in New York, Hong Kong, and Paris. The team couldn’t wait to tell their team leader, Kurt Lansing, that they had won the BMW account that morning. The fourth team member, Brad Fitzgerald, stood apart from the animated group, studying his BlackBerry and then hailing a cab for an afternoon flight out of LaGuardia.
After a two-year slump in sales, Devereaux-Deering needed a big score like the BMW account. To drive new business and land high-profile accounts like this one, the company had hired Kurt Lansing, an MBA from Wharton, with prominent status in the advertising industry. His job was to lead a new business team to study the market, develop strategies, and acquire major accounts. Lansing hand-selected four high achievers for his team that represented each area of the business: Brad Fitzgerald, creative director; Trish Roderick, account services; Adrienne Walsh, production manager; and Tyler Green, brand strategy. “That was a shocker!” said Roderick as she scooted across the backseat of the cab to make room for her teammates. “The client didn’t seem too impressed with our presentation until Fitzgerald presented the last set of slides describing the global campaign. They loved it. I think he single-handedly clinched the deal when he presented the tag line for the Asian market,” she said excitedly. “He’s a real whiz, alright,” muttered Green.” The eighth wonder of the world.” Sighing deeply and losing his earlier exuberance, Green said, “We couldn’t have bagged the deal without him, and I know we’ll all get credit. But none of us knew he planned to present that last part of the global campaign. I know he was working on that tag line late last night, but there was plenty of time this morning to get team input on it. I hate surprises in front of the client. I felt like a fool, even if we did win the business.” “He’s a regular white knight’” chuckled Walsh, “riding in at the last minute to save the day. I suppose we should appreciate him, but he’s just so irritating. He snapped at me last week for not telling him about a client who was upset about delays in their ad campaign. I reminded him that I had told him about it in our status meeting, but he wasn’t listening at the time. He was glued to his precious BlackBerry, as usual. Why have team meetings if he isn’t going to participate”
Roderick was surprised by her teammates’ reaction to Fitzgerald. She thought they had been working well together. She was quickly discovering, however, an undercurrent of resentment. This was the first time that she had been exposed to the conflict that was simmering below the surface. No doubt, Fitzgerald did have a strong ego and aggressive personality. A previously successful entrepreneur, Fitzgerald had a track record of success and was very ambitious. However, she did notice that he didn’t show respect for differing opinions or invite collaboration on ideas. She wondered if he was placing his own success above his team’s. But why complain if the team was sharing the credit and earning fatRoderick was surprised by her teammates’ reaction to Fitzgerald. She thought they had been working well together. She was quickly discovering, however, an undercurrent of resentment. This was the first time that she had been exposed to the conflict that was simmering below the surface. No doubt, Fitzgerald did have a strong ego and aggressive personality. A previously successful entrepreneur, Fitzgerald had a track record of success and was very ambitious. However, she did notice that he didn’t show respect for differing opinions or invite collaboration on ideas. She wondered if he was placing his own success above his team’s. But why complain if the team was sharing the credit and earning fat bonuses along with him She was content to go with the status quo. “You know,” she said, “we’re darn lucky to be on his team.” She stared out the cab window at the passing traffic and listening to her two teammates continue to grouse. “I should have known something was up when I walked past his office last night and saw him working with the new copywriter. They must have been hashing out the new tag line,” smirked Green. “We are a team, aren’t we The system is bigger than the individual, remember He doesn’t seem too concerned about the welfare of the team – only his own.”
“Well, let’s all have a heart-to-heart with Mr. Whiz,” said Walsh sarcastically. “I’m sure he’ll see things our way. We’ll give him a brief overview of Teamwork 101. That will go over great!” As the cab pulled to the curb, they tossed the driver a $20 bill and headed to their offices on the 40th floor. They would all stop to see the team leader, Kurt Lansing, first. In the meantime, Lansing smiled broadly when he received Fitzgerald’s text message that they had won the BMW account. Sinking back in his chair, he marveled at the cohesiveness and success of his team. All that time building a shared vision and building trust was starting to pay off.
1. What factors do you think are affecting this team’s cohesiveness Explain.
2. If you were the team leader, what could you do to bring Fitzgerald into the team more and foster better relationships among the team members
3. As a team member, what would you do Should the three members of the team confront Fitzgerald with their concerns Should they inform Kurt Lansing Explain your answer.
An Impossible Dream
What’s wrong with the team What’s wrong with the team ZequineMansell’s words repeated over and over in Allen Block’s head as he boarded the plane from Los Angeles to Chicago. Block was responsible for the technical implementation of the new customer relationship management (CRM) software being installed for western and eastern sales offices in both cities. The software was badly needed to improve follow-up sales for his company, Exert Systems. Exert sold exercise equipment to high schools and colleges, as well as to small and midsized businesses for recreation centres, through a national force of 310 salespeople. The company’s low prices won a lot of sales; however, follow-up service was uneven, and the new CRM system promised to resolve those problems with historical data, inquiries, reminders, and updates going to sales reps daily. The CEO of Exert ordered the CRM system installed with all possible haste. Block pulled a yellow pad and pen from the side pocket of his carry-on bag, and tossed it in the seat beside the window, stashed the bag in the overhead compartment, and sat down as other passengers filed past. In an effort to shut out his thoughts, he closed his eyes and concentrated on the muffled voices and low whooshing sound of the air vents. An image appeared in his mind of his promotion to Mansell’s job when she retired in two years. He blocked that thought and started doodling on the pad as a way of focusing his thoughts.
He wrote what’s wrong with the team three times and began drawing arrows to circles bearing the names of his team members: Barry Livingston and Max Wojohowski in Los Angeles and Bob Finley, Lynne Johnston, and Sally Phillips in Chicago. He marked through Sally’s name. She had jumped ship recently, taking her less-than-stellar but much-needed talents with her to another company. It was on a previous LA-Chicago flight that Sally had pumped him for feedback on her future with Exert. She had informed him that she had another job offer. She admitted that it was less money, but she was feeling under pressure as a member of the team and she wanted more “quality of life”. Block told Sally bluntly that her technical expertise, on which he placed top importance, was slightly below that of her peers, so future promotion was less likely despite her impressive people and team skills. He wrote “quality of life”, circled it, and then crossed it out and wrote “what the hell” Why should she get quality of life he mused. I’ve barely seen my wife and kids since this project started. Block’s team was under a great deal of pressure, and he had needed Sally to stick it out. He told her so, but the plane had barely touched down when she went directly to the office and quit, leaving the team short-handed and too close to deadline to add another body.
What’s wrong with the team Block furiously scribbled as his thoughts raced: (1) The deadline is ridiculously short. Mansell had scheduled a 10 week completion deadline for the new CRM software, including installation and training for both cities.
He was interrupted by the stewardess. “Would you care for a drink, sir”
“Yes. Just water.”
Block took a sip and continued to write, (2) Thank God for LA. From the outset, Barry and Max had worked feverishly while avoiding the whining and complaining that seemed to overwhelm members of the Chicago team. The atmosphere was different. Although the project moved forward, meeting deadlines, there appeared to be less stress. The LA guys focused tirelessly on work, with no families to consider, alternating intense work with joking around. “Those are my kind of people,” he thought. (3) But there is Chicago, he wrote. Earlier in the day Sam Matheny from sales had e-mailed, then called Block to tell him the two remaining members of the Chicago team appeared to be alternating between bickering and avoiding one another. Apparently this had been going on for some time. What’s with that Block wondered. And why did Sam know and I didn’t So that morning, before his flight, Block had to make time to call and text both Finley and Johnston. Finley admitted he had overreacted to Johnston.
“Look, man. I’m tired and stressed out. We’ve been working non-stop. My wife is not happy.”
“Just get along until this project is completed,” Block ordered.
“When will that be” Finley asked before hanging up.
Block thought about Mansell’s persistent complaints to him that the team appeared to have a lack of passion, and she admonished him to “get your people to understand the urgency of this project.” Her complaints only added to his own stress levels. He had long considered himself the frontrunner for Mansell’s job when she retired in two years. But had his team ruined that dream The sense of urgency could be measured now in the level of stress and the long hours they had all endured. He admitted his team members were unenthusiastic, but they seemed committed.
Is it too late to turn around and restore the level of teamwork He tore off the sheet from the pad, crumbled it in his hand, and stared out the window.
1. How would you characterize Block’s leadership approach (task versus people) What approach do you think is correct for this situation Why
2. What would you do now if you were Block How might you awaken more enthusiasm in your team for completing this project on time Specify the steps you would take.
3. How would you suggest that Block modify his leadership style if he wants to succeed Mansell in two years Be specific
Leadership AssignmentCase 1
Group cohesion refers to the degree to which the members of the group are attracted to each other while remaining within the same group. However, in the given case, despite the success, the team members seem to be unsatisfied with their team performance. Though the team achieves their goal, the major reason for their success was particularly considered the performance of the individual member, i.e. Brad Fitzgerald. Because of this fact, though the team succeed and shared their success as a team, the other members suchas Walsh and Green were quite not satisfied with their success, other than Brad Fitzgerald. It clearly shows that the team lacks cohesiveness because of which they are not able to enjoy their victory despite their success. Therefore, the factors that affect this team’s cohesiveness are as follows:
Lack of communication- The importance of communication cannot be overlooked in terms of working as a team. Communication is one of the significant factors that enhance cohesiveness among the team members(Schuster 2020). However, in the given case, communication can be identified as one of the major factors that have been affecting the team's cohesiveness. As per the analysis of the given case, it has been noticed that Fitzgerald, who had been working as a creative director is less communicative in the team. It is because he does not seem to be sharing his ideas with the team, and as an evidence-based, Fitzgerald did not share his ideas of his final presentation, which made them successful, with his team members. Because of this, his team members were quite shocked to see the final presentation of Fitzgerald, about which they were completely unaware.
Homogeneity- Another major reason that has been affecting this team’s cohesiveness is homogeneity among the group members. It is because the group members seem to have different interests, perceptions, and backgrounds, that has been affecting the team's cohesiveness in terms of promoting their interest(Ebrary 2014). In the given case, Fitzgerald seems to be less interested in terms of sharing his interest and opinions with his team members, which can be noticed in the words of Green and Walsh, as they stated that Fitzgerald has no interest in terms of sharing his ideas with them while paying less attention to their ideas as well. On the other hand, Roderick had her own interest, and she was less bothered about Fitzgerald, and more focused on their success, while appreciating Fitzgerald, and wandering about the reactions of Green and Walsh.
Shared goal and previous success- This can also be identified as another significant factor affecting the team’s cohesiveness. At the beginning of the case, it can be noticed that when the three-member of the team were exhilarated for winning the BMW accounting, Fitzgerald was not much enthusiastic about the victory and stayed away from the animated group, studying his blackberry. Thus, it can be noticed that Fitzgerald was not satisfied either with the previous success, or the shared goal, because of which he did not share his ideas about his final presentation with his team members, and hence it affected this team’s cohesiveness.
Being a team leader, it is crucial to foster a better relationship among the team, because it will enhance the productivity and performance of the entire team members which achieving organizational goals. In the given case, it has clearly been identified that Fitzgerald lacks communication with his team members, which has been affecting the cohesiveness of the team. Therefore, if I were a leader, I would act as a transformational leader. It is because; the transformational leader focuses more on the enhancement of the team's performance, with a high level of communication, while being a role model in order to inspire the team(Gadirajurrett et al. 2018). The first initiative that I would consider in order to bring Fitzgerald into more teams while fostering better relationships among the team is by encouraging Fitzgerald to get to know the other team members while respecting his personal boundaries, and privacy. Fitzgerald has been noticed to be focused intensely on his work in order to bring out the best outcomes, but he does not put much effort in terms of mingling with the other team members. Even when his colleagues will be celebrating the success of the team, Fitzgerald often isolates himself from the animated group and keeps himself busy in his blackberry. Therefore, if I would be the team leader, then I would first encourage Fitzgerald to communicate with his colleagues while participating with them in both the success and failure of the team. This way he could be able to get to know more about his team members and feel comfortable to share his opinions with, that will eventually foster better relationship among the team members. After all, a strong communicator is one of the key skills of leadership, and I would ensure Fitzgerald understands the same.
Focusing on the development of the team is one of the key skills of a leader; therefore as a leader, I would provide adequate training and resources to both Fitzgerald and the rest members. Providing adequate training and resources helps the team members to develop themselves within the room for their advancement(Scully 2019). I would provide training sessions regarding the importance of communication in order to enhance the team's cohesiveness, while particularly aiming to encourage Fitzgerald, to communicate more frequently with his teammates. While providing training, I would ensure that Fitzgerald understands the importance of communication while working as a team, and the value of success that comes out while working collaboratively as a team. I would also emphasize building strong one-on-one relationships, in order to allow Fitzgerald, as well as other team members, to put their cases, issues, and opinions in regards to their personal growth. I would further advise advising Fitzgerald to brainstorm together with his team members in order to bring him more into the team, as well as fostering better relationships among the team members.
In the given case, despite the success, the team is not able to enjoy the victory as a team because of a lack of cohesiveness among the team. Therefore, as a team member, I would prefer to share all my ideas and opinions with my team members. It is not always necessary that my ideas and opinions have to be the best and effective, but sharing them with the team members will eventually help to reach a positive outcome after discussing with the team. In concern to these three members, as given in the case, they should confront Fitzgerald in an optimist way for not sharing such an important idea regarding the final presentation. It is because transparency promotes trust among the team members, and by not sharing the idea of his final presentation, there arises a question of trust among the team members. Hence, if they positively confront Fitzgerald, then Fitzgerald is likely to understand the emotions of his colleagues while sharing his ideas with them in the upcoming projects.
The team should also inform Kurt Lansing, because as a team leader, it is crucial to understand and analyze how the team members are performing, both as an individual and as a group. The leader must maintain a positive team culture while analyzing the strength and weaknesses of the team members(Moore 2021). Therefore, if the three members of the given case inform their leader about Fitzgerald, and his secret planning for presentation, then Kurt Lansing might analyze what is lacking in his team, and plan accordingly to overcome the identified issue.
Leadership AssignmentCase 2
As per the given case study, it has been identified that the Block has been having a hard time in terms of his project completion, as well as team management. His constant desire to be the frontrunner for Mansell’s job after her retirement also seems to be at risk because of the hindrance in terms of completing his CRM project, causing a lot of stress for him. After the analysis of the entire case study, the leadership approach of Block can be characterized as the people-oriented leadership approach. The people-oriented leadership approach is one of the significant leadership approaches that emphasize more in the formation of mutual trust, respect, and respect among the leaders and the followers(Chong et al. 2018). The leadership of Block has been characterized as a People-oriented leadership approach because Block can be noticed to have been focusing more on the individual performance, and relationship rather than focusing on his task. Though it is important to focus on team members being a leader, Block often seems to be influenced by the activities of his team and does not have full control over his team. He keeps constantly thinking about the importance and contribution of Sally and other members such as Finley and Johnston etc, in terms of completing the project. Rather than managing the team effectively, while exerting strong control over the entire team, Block only takes stress about the team's performance but does not make any strategic plan to solve the issue, as a leader. Hence, all these qualities and factors make Block’s leadership a people-oriented leadership approach.
As per my analysis, the task-oriented leadership approach would be more correct in the given situation. It is because, the company for which Block working seems to be a top-level management company, within which Block need not be closely engaged with the wide range of team members and associates. Block has been constantly bothered about what his team members are thinking about him, and how they will contribute towards the completion of the project while pushing him close to be the frontrunner for Mansell’s job after her retirement. This can be considered as one of the most significant factors that have been hindering Block, and because of which Block is not able to focus solely on the completion of his task efficiently. Therefore, task-oriented leadership will be correct for this situation, because this approach is suitable while working with top-level management. Furthermore, this approach is not only about the achievement of the target, but it also includes creating and using frameworks that will motivate the entire team to go beyond while achieving a biggersuccess(Chan 2017). Therefore, if Block uses this leadership approach, then he will be able to manage his team effectively, at the same time achieving his goal as well.
If I were Block, then I would first try to analyze what is lacking in my leadership that has been affecting my work. After the analysis of my weakness, I would first consider changing my leadership style in order to handle the situation more effectively and efficiently. Rather than only focusing on the individual traits, I would focus more on the completion of the task, for which I world motivate the entire team members for the completion of the task. Furthermore, rather than just simply relying on individuals, and stressing about the team performance, I would think about other innovative ideas to encourage the team, as well as for the completion of the task within the given schedule. Therefore, in order to awaken more enthusiasm in my team regarding the completion of the project, I would consider the following steps:
Acknowledging their work- Acknowledging the work of the employees robust the enthusiasm of the employees regarding their work, Therefore, in order to awaken enthusiasm, I would acknowledge the work of all my team members, which can be made either by a letter of appreciation or the rewards for the effort of the employee regarding the completion of the project. By doing so, I will motivate my team members to work with the same enthusiasm and to enjoy rewards after the success of the project. Provide an inspiring purpose- One of the important factors to awaken enthusiasm in the team members is by providing them an inspiring purpose regarding the completion of the project. Once the employee will understand the purpose of the project, then they will feel more proud about their work, and they might also put extra effort into the completion of the project. Therefore, I too would provide my team an inspiring purpose regarding the completion of the project, as the Exert sold the exercises in schools and colleges as well. With this, I will be able to awaken more enthusiasm in my team regarding the completion of the project. Helping them to improve- Employees often wants to improve themselves within the company, and providing an opportunity for both personal and professional growth can motivate the employee to be more focused on their work(Miron 2014). Therefore, I too would ensure their improvement and growth, after the completion of each successful project. With this, I will awaken more enthusiasm in my team regarding the completion of the project.
Communicating openly- In order to encourage and awaken enthusiasm, I would communicate openly with the team, while promoting teamwork. Communicating openly with the team will encourage the members to express their opinions, ideas, and issues more freely, which will also make a better relationship among the team members. With this, I will be able to awaken more enthusiasm in the team, while making a comfortable environment within which the employee will focus on the completion of the project.
If Block wants to succeed Mansell in two years, then he must modify his leadership style, for which I would suggest Block follow the following steps as given below:
Detecting the need-The first step to modify the leadership style is to recognize the need for the change, both in the environment and in the given situation(Boss 2015). Therefore, I would suggest Block find the imperative change and the reason behind the change of his leadership. He should recognize both his strength and weakness as a leader, and once Block will be able to identify the key reason for his leadership modification, he can choose the suitable leadership approach that will ensure him to achieve his goal. The more efficient block’s performance will be as a leader, the chances of succeeding Mansell will be higher. Planning- planning is crucial in terms of modifying or changing anything with the context of the organization. Therefore, in order to modify his leadership style, he needs to plan about the modification. Within this context, I would suggest Block make a strategic plan, prioritizing his aim to succeed Mansell, because, with a proper plan, Block will be able to embark on his leadership journey within the phase of modification. Creating a plan will also help Block to carry his team through the challenging time, while avoiding and minimizing the riskthat he might encounter while modifying his leadership style, and also while succeeding Mansell in two years. Communicating with the team- I would also suggest Block communicate freely and frequently with his team, which will help him to swiftly modify hisleadership style. The more Block will communicate with his team, the more he will be aware of the requirement, strengths, and weaknesses of the team. In course of modifying his leadership, communicating with the team will also allow the team members to understand the purpose and goal of the leader, as well as the organization, which will further avoid misunderstanding between Him and his team. With this Block will be able to modify his leadership style, ensuring both the welfare of the organization and the team, as well as succeeding Mansell in two years.
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