Please read the case study below and read on situational leadership. After your reading please answer the Discussion questions below.
(Case study begins here – )
Mr. Brown was promoted to be a general manager of a particular call center in South Florida. Mr. Brown was coming off a great historical success story from taking over a call center in Boston whose previous leader (Mr. Jackson) preferred to use a democratic leadership style and his democratic style-built flexibility and a sense of responsibility within the group of the employees. Due to the initial success under Mr. Jackson, that call center took on 10 new accounts; And what was once a great attribute in terms of Mr. Jackson’s democratic style of getting each person’s input prior to making decisions turned into a liability when the groups work-load more than tripled.
Due to all the new clients the team was responsible for servicing in addition to the new team members that needed to be trained, Mr. Jackson’s democratic leadership style created too many inefficiencies that aggravated the stress on the team. The account holders began to have greater dissatisfaction with the level of service, and they were at risk of losing not only the additional accounts they have added but the accounts that existed prior to the additions. Mr. Brown was hired in part to stop the bleeding. Mr. Brown’s leadership style was less democratic and told the subordinates what needed to be done to solve the problems. His success of helping the team meet the deadlines that the clients needed, help save the call center from losing those accounts.
However, when Mr. Brown reached his new location, he noticed that his leadership style that he attributed to his previous success in helping the team in Boston was not impacting the bottom line, nor the morale of his new team. His new team was exceptionally talented and did not need training. They knew how to perform the task at hand, but the morale was negatively impacted due to some layoffs and other issues prior to Mr. Brown’s arrival. His leadership style only intensified the problem when he was not cognizant of the morale problem of his team. Mr. Brown called on a mentor that was named Mrs. Pierre.
Mr. Brown was apprehensive of adapting a democratic leadership style due to the heavy deadlines that still was needed to be hit, as well as his memory of how poorly that turned out for Mr. Jackson. Mr. Brown subsequently conveyed his frustration of not understanding what steps to take with his mentor. Mrs. Pierre informed Mr. Brown, that although she did not believe a democratic leadership style was needed for this team, she also highlighted that there wasn’t a style that can fit every situation, and that great leaders adapt their styles to the situation. She informed him that they are situations where the Democratic leadership style will be needed, and great leaders consider the pros and cons of each style to the situation prior to choosing one. She suggested he consider an Affiliative leadership style in which more praise is given to the team members for what they are doing right to help boost the morale so that the team will know that their mastery and dedication is recognized and appreciated.
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