Lisa Benton Case Analysis
In this case analysis I will focus on Deborah Linton and Lisa Benton. Deborah Linton is the Product Manager and is Lisa Benton’s direct supervisor at Houseworld. I will look at Deborah Linton’s leadership approach applying concepts from JWMI-510. I will act as a consultant to Deborah Linton and make recommendations on how she can build an effective team. I will point out why Lisa Benton has not been effective in influencing her boss and colleagues. Finally, I will discuss what incidents Lisa Benton could have handled differently at Houseworld and give recommendations on how she can get her career back on track.
Lisa Benton Case Analysis
Lisa Benton made the decision to accept a job offer at Houseworld over Right-Away where she had interned while completing her MBA at Harvard. Benton made her decision based upon the classical marketing training she would receive from Houseworld. Houseworld was an industry leader and Benton felt like this possessed a better opportunity to learn rather than working for smaller company like Right-Away. Benton was informed during her initial visit with Houseworld that she would have the ability to become a product manager within 2 to 3 years. Benton accepted a position at Houseworld as an assistant product manager in the Home Care Division during her second visit with the company. Benton was told that, “she would not know until her first day of work who her boss was, or to what product she had been assigned” (Weber p.3). Benton became nervous from not knowing whom she would be working for or what product line she would start with. She had always felt working relationships were very important to her but felt that Houseworld was a very structured company and she had nothing to worry about.
Based on her two visits to Houseworld she was happy with everyone she had met and excited about the opportunity to learn and grow her marketing skillset. In her mind Houseworld seemed like a great fit. On June 15th, Lisa Benton reported to Houseworld for her first day and met her manager, Deborah Linton for the first time. Linton had been with Houseworld for over seven years and had worked her way up as one of the first female product managers at the company. She did not possess an MBA and wasn’t impressed with people who had earned their MBA’s. Her belief was the only way to move up the corporate ladder was by hard work not by receiving a MBA degree. Unfortunately for Linton, her beliefs were not shared throughout the company. In fact, Bob Mitchell vice president of marketing, a Harvard MBA graduate himself, had changed the recruiting practices at Houseworld. In the past at Houseworld both MBA and non-MBA candidates had the opportunity for the assistant product manager roles. Now the emphasis was on MBA’s from top schools for the entry-level marketing positions.
This changed the culture of the company, “as a result, the Home Care Division was increasingly dominated by people holding MBA’s” (Weber p.5). Based on the case study, Linton is the product manager at Houseworld. By assessing her leadership style at Houseworld and her interactions with her team, we find she lacks the core belief system practiced at The Jack Welch Management Institute. Linton’s first encounter with Benton was of surprise. She indicated to Benton she was not expecting her to start for another week. This initial comment put uncertainty into Benton. Linton then had another assistant product manager (Ron Scoville) help get Benton set up since none of this was done beforehand. Later that day Linton invited Benton into her office and opened up the conversation by saying, “I’ve looked at your resume and I think your position will be an interesting one her at Houseworld” (Webber p.4). Linton than took a very aggressive (coercive) approach and explained to her new employee that she is not a fan of MBA’s.
She even goes out and stereotypes people with MBA’s especially Harvard graduates as being arrogant. “ MBA’s act like they know a lot more than they do. The only way to learn is on the job and your formal education won’t help you. I’ve known some Harvard MBA’s, and I don’t like them” (Webber p.4). Based on Jack Welch, Winning, Leadership is the ability to forge paths for others to follow. Good leaders possess high energy, can articulate a vision and inspire others to perform (they see the strengths in other people and help drive it out). Good leaders know it’s not about you, the greatest joy a leader should have is watching members of your team succeed. Linton’s initial comments to Benton did not paint a friendly picture for her new employee and went against what Welch believes Leadership is. Throughout this case study, Linton broke Jack Welch’s eight rules of an effective leader. In this case study I will highlight two rules of Jack Welch that hurt her ability to display good leadership. (Rule #1) “Relentlessly upgrade your team.
In every encounter with them, evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence”(Welch p.78). Linton failed to find time for Lisa Benton from the very start. Linton failed give the “needed feedback” to her staff; especially Lisa Benton she was “running blind” with little direction and no coaching. If Linton had taken the time to layout out Benton’s first 90 days she would have given Benton a path for understanding her new role and the opportunity to succeed by having DIRECTION. Since Linton failed to plan out the first 90 days this was extremely troublesome for Benton. Benton heard from other employees at Houseworld that the first year with Houseworld was “critical” for later success and this added additional tension and stress. Linton had gained a reputation from her staff as an “excellent performer with a great track record of brand successes, but a poor trainer and manager of people” (Weber p.12).
As the product manager at Houseworld it is her (Linton’s) responsibility to “to groom his or her associates to be promotable” (Weber p. 3). It seems that she is too focused on her own her own individual needs not concerned with others. Based on the TKI (Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument) she is competing. Linton is “ assertive and uncooperative, a power-oriented mode. When competing, an individual purses his or her own concerns at the other person’s expense, using whatever power seems appropriate to win his or her position (Thomas-Kilmann p. 8).
(Rule #2) “Instill the vision” (Welch p.78). Linton failed to layout the vision for Benton and based on her track record with other team members, this was a common theme for her. One former team member told Benton that because of Linton leadership style he is “now working double-time trying to make up for what he should have learned in his first position” (Weber p.12). Benton was assigned to help with the brand review and assist Scoville, the other assistant project manager that worked for Linton. Linton indicated she was very busy at the present time with other deadline and tasks. Linton told Benton that in a few weeks they would sit down and go over objectives expected from her and even take her out to lunch if she could find the time. But Linton made promises that she never followed through on another grave mistake in her leadership. Linton not only broke Jack Welch’s philosophies on leadership she also went against JWI-510 Leadership in the 21st Century, week four lecture.
What is a team? A team is “a small number of people with complementary skills to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable” (Katzenbach and Smith p. 1). Linton’s division is, in my opinion, dysfunctional. Sure, Linton gets the job done but it’s not a healthy environment for the team. Linton is more focused on her own individual task and shows very little direction to the team. Linton seems to show compassion towards Scoville; maybe because they both know they are limited since neither one of them have an MBA. It could also be as rumored that Scoville and Linton have a relationship outside of work. If that is the case it should be addressed with HR and Scoville should be moved to a different department so there is no bias on the team. The dysfunction has grown where none of the other team members are willing to go out their way to assist Scoville. It probably because of his know-it- all attitudes and his strong tie with Linton, which resulted in this conflict.
It seems that Linton is willing to protect Scoville but is willing to chastise Benton and other team members. This brings in a lot of separation between the team and creates an environment with little trust and no candor. Finally, Linton has failed in running her team and has committed the six sins of leadership. In this case study I will highlight two of the six sins that hurt her ability to instill strong leadership qualities to her team. Leadership Sin #1: Not Giving Self-Confidence Its Due. “Self confidence is the lifeblood of success” (JWMI-510 Week 8 p.5). Linton could have easily used this approach to build up confidence on a new employee like Benton. By taking a few minutes from the start and listen, discover and create some type of bond at the very beginning. Instead Linton attacked her for having a MBA from Harvard and made her feel uncomfortable personally and with little direction professionally. Leadership Sin #2: Muzzling Voice. Linton and her right hand man Scoville act like know-it-alls.
“They can tell you how the world works, what corporate is thinking, how it will backfire if you try this or that, and why you can’t possibly change the product one iota” (JWMI-510 Week 8 p.6). Linton displayed this from the very start when she stereotyped all people with MBA’s. She should have embraced Benton and taken advantage of her insight she had at both Right-Away and from her academia from Harvard. If she wasn’t so arrogant and self-centered in her own individual tasks she could have used Benton as an ally and someone who could have helped her. Linton might be a very good producer at Houseworld but she needs a lot of help in becoming a good leader. She had been with Houseworld for seven years and gotten results as an individual contributor. Unfortunately she has only been in her current role as a project manager for only eight months. I will indicate in the next section how Linton can start to grow into her leadership role and regain the respect from her team.
Acting as a consultant to Linton, I would recommend that she do the following to build an effective team. Linton has only been in her role as product manager for eight months. I am personally surprised that a large structured company like Houseworld didn’t have formal training program built in for their leadership roles. As a consultant to Linton I would look at two parts for her to concentrate on. The first part of “her education” would be looking at her as a leader. The DiSC profile and TKI would be two huge tools to her gain awareness of who Linton actually is. Once she understands the first part we can move into giving her some fundamental structure based on JWMI. Having her take the DiSC she would notice that she has a (D) style – “dominant”, she is very direct, firm, strong willed and forceful with her dealings with Benton and her other teammates (other than Scoville). As a manger with a D style you ”can become competitive in conflict, creating win-lose scenarios without room for compromise. They may be quite direct and rarely try to avoid confrontation. They respect people who stand up for them, so state your opinions directly.
While their tactics might feel forceful to you, remember not to take them personality” (Wiley p.23). D styles – can be challenging when they don’t feel they are in control. Linton feels threatened since she does not possess an MBA and Benton is on the fast track on a promotion in a few years. Linton had been with the company for seven years and just recently was promoted to project manager. Linton also knows she is limited in her growth at Houseworld based on her education. Obviously if Linton wants to increase her marketability she can start her path for a MBA. I am sure a large company such as Houseworld has some type of a continued education program in place. This would also show Houseworld she is willing to invest time to become a better employee and a better leader. The DiSC profile will hopefully allow her to understand how other types function and react to certain situations. I would encourage her to also use the DiSC profile with all her team members. The more she knows about her team the better she will be to help lead them.
The TKI will allow her to better understand how she deals with conflict. I would assume based on the TKI, Linton behavior is assertiveness “the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns” (Thomas-Kilmann p.7). She would also rank high in competing. “Competing is assertive and uncooperative, a power-oriented mode. When competing, an individual pursues his or her own concerns at the other person’s expense, using whatever power seems appropriate to win” (Thomas-Kilmann p.8). As a consultant I would have a conversation with her direct report, Jack Vernon. I would be curious to know what type of feedback if any he has for her. Do they have scheduled coaching sessions such as weekly or bi-monthly one-on-ones? What feedback if any has he given to Linton, if not …why not? He should know that she has only been in the position for eight months and based on the office gossip she has a reputation of being a strong individual performer but a bad trainer and leader.
The next step I would take with Linton is giving her the foundation of what leadership is (based on JWMI) and how important it is to become a true leader and have complete buy in from your team. As her consultant I would explain the most important foundation towards her leadership growth; Jack Welch’s four basic principles: mission and vision, candor, differentiation, voice and dignity. I would follow that up with Jack Welch’s eight rules for leadership. Going over step by step the importance of each rule and why it has such an impact between bad leadership and great leadership Rule #1 – Relentlessly upgrade your team. In every encounter with them, “evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence.” Rule #2 – Instill the vision.
Rule #3 – Spread energy and optimism.
Rule #4 – Establish trust by being candid, transparent and giving credit where it’s due. Rule #5 – Make the unpopular decisions.
Rule #6 – Probe and push. Make sure your “questions are answered with action.” Rule #7 – Inspire risk-taking and learning by doing both yourself. Rule #8 – Celebrate!
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(Welch p. 78).
I would also make sure that Linton understands that she is very busy meeting her own individual deadlines but she is in a leadership role for her department. Hopefully understanding the Jack Welch way it will give her insight on how to become a better leader. That a leader needs embrace the team, support candor, celebrate WINS and feel joy when her teammates are promoted into different roles. As Linton’s consultant I would show candor and have a true heart to heart to find out what she wants at Houseworld and see if they are realistic goals. If she wants to move up the corporate ladder I would recommend her taking online course like JWMI to obtain her MBA. If she feels that is unnecessary evil than I would let her know she is probably limited on what roles will be available to her in leadership. If she wants less management responsibilities and only focus on results she might be a better fit in a different position with the organization. Finally, if she fails to encompass the suggestions it might be time for her to find something else that challenges and rewards her with a different company.
In this next section I will look at Lisa Benton and determine why she has not been effective in influencing her boss and colleagues at Houseworld. It seemed six months ago Benton had her pick of the litter, she could have chosen Right-Away and been on a face track to becoming a VP. She instead chose to go with the larger company, Houseworld, where she was looking forward to taking advantage of their marketing knowledge. Now, after six months with Houseworld she feels like she does not fit in. Benton was initially hired because Houseworld saw an individual who possessed a lot of enthusiasm. Since Benton has arrived at Houseworld she has been very timid and showed little if any enthusiasm. Some of this could be the way both Linton and Scoville have treated her. But, like Jack Welch says, so you have a bad boss…what are you going to do about it?
A good boss can make work fun and a bad one can cause misery. Based on the five laws by Michael Feiner this could help build a better relationship with Linton. Law #1: Make Your Own Bed: You are 100% responsible for the quality of your relationship with your boss. It seemed that as soon as Linton was told she was in “learning mode” she bought into that. He told her, “ the first six months you’re in learning mode. Even though you’ll have to dig in in and learn the brand business, you won’t be expected to be a brand wizard or decision maker until several months from now (Weber p.4). So because of this advice she failed to speak out and exert herself. She could have shown candor and demanded to speak with Linton and find out exactly what her objective should be since they have never been told to her by her direct report. I would have even challenged Linton and said that since I do not know what my objectives are and I am being told by my peers this is what you expect from me…is that correct?
Like Jack Welch indicated in his book Winning, “so you have a bad boss, get over yourself, what are you going to do about it? ” Law #2: Get Behind the Mask: You can only influence your boss when you understand your boss. Linton has failed to find time for Benton maybe because she is very busy, not a fan of hers because she is a recent Harvard MBA graduate, or maybe she is just overwhelmed in her new role as project manager and has yet been able to find balance as both a manager and a producer. What has Benton done to gain some common ground with Linton? “If the relationship between you and your boss is rocky, then it is you who must begin to manage it” (Gabarro and Kotter HBR). Instead of depending on Houseworld and relying on Linton to forward Benton’s career, she should assume leadership and responsibility on her own development. She could do this by understanding Linton as a manager and her preferred work style. Poor relationship with Linton and her co-worker (Scoville) has put Benton in a frustrating and dissatisfying situation. Also, what does she like to do outside of work? Any possibility to bond could break down Linton’s barrier and could have a positive effect towards their relationship.
Law #3: Commit to the Success of Your Boss: Respect the office your boss holds – meet your goals. Benton was angry/frustrated and was willing to voice her displeasure with co-workers but never with Linton. Telling people that have no opportunity to “fix” the situation will not help you. If anything it will hurt you, you will get advice from the wrong people instead of addressing the problem head on with your boss. Law #4: Speak Truth to Power – Carefully: You must be willing to confront your boss regardless of the situation. Their were many opportunities where Benton should have shown candor and stood up for herself. Benton needs to know that she cannot hesitate to speak up she needs to let her feelings heard; obviously Linton does it to her. The initial meeting where Linton made her felt uncomfortable for having an MBA. Benton missed a huge opportunity to stand up for herself in a professional manner and set the tone. Benton should have shown candor and said, that she is proud of her MBA from Harvard and sorry that you feel the way you do.
But reemphasize that Houseworld was impressed with both my past performance at Right-Away and my MBA. Frankly, I do not appreciate being stereotyped and I expect to be judged for my performance here at Houseworld. At that time, I would have said that I would like my objectives for the next 90 days laid out so I know what is expected and it will allow me to know where I stand. At the end of the first week I would have emailed Linton (that way you have it on record) requesting the work objectives. I would have been very professional but again emphasize that knowing the objectives and goals will allow me to do a better job and be more productive of a team member. Benton missed another opportunity to “speak the truth” when she was asked by Vernon if she was happy. This would have been a perfect time to express that she has yet to receive any work objectives that she was promised by Linton on the first day. She feels like a “fifth wheel” and not part of the team when she is around Linton and Scoville.
Frankly I feel more like a “gofer” than an assistant project manager. Benton should express candor and say I chose Houseworld because of the structure of the company and the marketing knowledge I would receive. So yes, I am frustrated what would you suggest I do? Having asked that simple question would allow Vernon the opportunity to evaluate and assess her concerns and helped her get on the path of success at Houseworld. Benton just needs to be aware that hiding your feelings could be more harmful in the long run. She needs to show candor and avoid glossing over disagreements just to keep friendly with Linton or her co-worker like Scoville. Law #5: Act Like a Grownup: You cannot feel sorry for yourself; you must confront your problems. Benton has been feeling sorry for herself. At first she was unsure not knowing whom her manager would be or what division she would start with. Later when she faced some conflict with Linton and Scoville rather than showing candor and addressing the issue(s) head on, she did nothing.
Instead of showing voice she has become silent and failed to standup for herself. She rather spends her time getting advice from co-workers who could not help her since they were not in a position to do so. Linton should have addressed her concerns in a professional manner by expressing candor to both Linton and Scoville. If at that time she did not get the results she had been giving permission by Vernon to speak with him or even reach out to human resources. But, failure to do NOTHING, is acting like a child and not a grownup. Benton was hired because she had been successful at Right-Away and obviously has the aptitude to sit down and try to solve the problem in a professional manner (Feiner – JWMI -510: Leadership in the 21st Century – Week Seven/Lecture Two). Benton is good at getting along with people since she worked in Right-Away Stores and she has that kind of personality that makes friends easily. I would assume that Benton is a (Si) based on the DiSC profile. She shows traits of being optimistic, even tempered, accommodating and humble.
It seems like other than Linton and Scoville she has used her lateral leaderships to build rapport with other staff members in other departments at Houseworld. Unlike, her other co-worker Scoville who has no allies other than Linton and tries to push duties onto Benton since he has no extra support. Lisa’s lateral leadership could play a key in building a relationship with Scoville. It is well known that Scoville didn’t get along with other people well in this organization other than Linton, so he seldom got others’ help. Benton could try to be a “buffer” between Scoville and other peers. If Benton encouraged others to give him a hand, Scoville would realize that Benton had a reward power, which would give him some benefits. In this section I will discuss what incidents Benton could have handled differently and recommendations how she can get her career back on track. Benton has been given little if any direction from her direct supervisor at Houseworld. She had a few incidents at Houseworld that made her question herself if she belonged or if she should look at other opportunities with another company.
The first incident – The typing incident: Benton could have been handled this entire situation differently. Benton noticed that there was an error and it needed to be fixed right away. She took the liberty to fix the report herself since the secretary that originally did the report was out and the rest of the staff was busy. Benton thought she was being a team player; and since Linton never had given her any direction she didn’t know any better. As it would be Linton’s direct supervisor, Vernon noticed Benton retyping the report and “was surprised and disturbed” that she was typing up a report. He indicated to Benton that he never wanted to see her doing word processing work at this company. Vernon told Benton, “ we have secretaries to do that kind of work…it destroys your credibility not only with the people on your team but also in the secretaries eyes (Weber p.8). This would have been a great opportunity for Benton to have a candor conversation with Vernon. Express to him that she has yet to have any objectives and she is being used as a gofer for Scoville. Obviously Vernon feels clerical work is beneath a MBA and does not look good for her. He is trying to protect her.
This would have been a great opportunity to incorporate the lateral leadership lecture in week seven – “Memorable Evidence”. In this section it states, “to effectively persuade, present the audience with a story that will make a meaningful impact and be memorable” (JWMI- 510 Lecture one – week seven p. 5). How different would Vernon reacted if Benton told him the story that she was rushing around and caught the error just in time, and flipped the question around. We were short staffed, under the gun to get it done on time, how would you have handled the situation if you were me? I would love your feedback so I can understand what is expected from me. I have been here for several months and still have received no direction by Linton of what my objectives are. Another solution would have Benton reaching out to Linton that she caught the error and then asked Linton for direction in fixing the error.
At that time Benton didn’t know she would be “out of line” for fixing the error. It might of impressed Linton that she was a team player, and willing to do “what ever was best for the team” especially since error free reports were expected in the Home Care Department at Houseworld. By seeking permission first, it would also allow Benton to tell Vernon that Linton told her to fix the error. That conversation might have been an opportunity for Vernon to set his new project manager (Linton) in place on what he expects from her leadership and the role for the assistant project manager. The copying incident could have been avoided if candor was used with the team. Benton and the rest of the team all were working on deadline. Benton was torn because she had just had a conversation with Vernon a week earlier. He told her that he didn’t want her doing secretarial duties. Benton should have practiced candor, and informed her supervisor Linton that Scoville was taking her away from her assignment by requesting her to do copying work for him. It wasn’t that the act of doing the copying wasn’t beneath her but she was in the middle of a project and Scoville should have respected that and either had someone else do the copies or have done it himself.
Especially since she just had a conversation with Vernon a week earlier that prohibited her from doing such actions in the future. Vernon felt clerical work, should be done by the secretarial staff not by the assistant project manger. Linton hearing about the situation, insulted Benton for having her MBA and that she was to good for not helping and being a team player. Even though Linton knew that Vernon told her not to do such work in the future. After these two incidents, Benton feels like Linton is not genuinely looking out for her own interests and even putting the blame on her! As a result, Benton is losing motivation and job satisfaction rapidly. I feel that during the conversation with Linton, that it’s time to involve Vernon. This is a great opportunity for Benton to request a meeting with Vernon and Linton to discuss the role and objectives at Houseworld of the assistant project manger. During the meeting between Vernon, Linton and Benton it would be an excellent time to sit down discuss all the issues that have taken place since Benton joined Linton’s team. It would also be a perfect time for Vernon to put an end to the conflict of who is responsible for what.
Vernon should demand that Linton start using the RACI chart to clearly define the ground rules in advance and the responsibility of all parties. “A team works better together if everyone is clear about who does what…be clear about what role each person plays” (JWMI-510 Leadership in the 21st Century – Week Four-Lecture One). Vernon should spend the time together with all three clearing the air and demanding candor. After their meeting together I would have Vernon follow up Linton. I would make it clear that by the end of business tomorrow I am expecting her with the assistance of her team to sit down go over the RACI together so everyone is on the same page of duties and responsibilities. Once the RACI chart is completed, I would have Linton create a shared Google document that is editable and can be updated by all members of the team when necessary. The RACI chart should be used at all team meetings. That way, if anyone has questions or concerns they can be addressed and responsibility can be agreed upon and issued right away to avoid potential conflict.
The last incident that Benton could have handled was her performance evaluation. When Benton received her performance evaluation “she just listened and nodded, and tried not to get defensive, but on the inside she felt disappointed and misunderstood” (Weber p.10). This would have been an excellent opportunity to express her frustrations with Linton. That for over six month she has been asking for guidance and work objectives yet she never followed through with. I would have also demanded that instead of just jotting down a few notes you wanted a formal evaluation. But insist that you feel any evaluation would likely be hard to conduct since no formal guideline or goals were established from the beginning. You would also like to schedule a meeting with Vernon to go over this performance evaluation. During the meeting, Benton needs to express her frustrations of having no specific goals or timelines. That she has been working less as an assistant project manager for six months and has acted more as a gofer than the role she was hired for.
The only direction she has received in her direct department has come from Scoville not Linton. And you now fear that in retrospect his advice was misleading since he is upset about not being promoted. You would like to request an official development plan with specific goals and their timeframes so she can work on areas she is weak in. Vernon seemed to be the best person to listen to Benton’s problems between Linton and Scoville. Vernon agreed that Benton had enough job skills when she did a good job on one important memo. Because he knew Benton’s job ability, he didn’t think she should do secretarial tasks since she was hired as an assistant product manager. He was, unlike Linton and Scoville, willing to encourage Benton to develop her expert power in the organization. Vernon has opened a communication channel to Benton several times yet she has not taken full advantage of that opportunity. When she has spoken to Vernon about things that are troubling her at work it has only been about Scoville. She has failed to mention her everyday conflict that she has with Linton. Linton is the main reason she is frustrated and contemplating leaving Houseworld.
Benton needs to show complete candor with Vernon and explain to him that Linton and her do not have the best working relationship. He needs to know how much this has affected Benton’s professional development. Benton needs to explain to him about the quality of projects she has been working on and the progress she has made thus far in her current role. Explain that she has yet to receive and work objectives after being on the job for over six months. Once Vernon sees that Benton’s relationship with Linton is not productive then he can step in to moderate the situation. It is in Vernon’s best interest to make sure that his managers are developing top talent and have a developmental approach towards this end. If Vernon cannot reconcile Benton’s working relationship with Linton, then he can start the process to transfer Benton to another group or look to see if Linton is actually a fit in her new role.
Although a transfer might take some time, it is imperative that Benton takes the aforementioned steps so she can start this process of moving forward. Further, if Benton wants to eventually become a successful Product Manager, she needs to take control of her own career path at Houseworld. If all attempts at Houseworld fail she can always consider reaching out to her former boss at Right-Away, Kingston. She could explain that she made a huge mistake and see if he would give her another opportunity. If Benton doesn’t take any of my advice in this case study and chooses to stay with the hopes everything will workout on its own, she has no one to blame but herself. “If the boss will be around for the foreseeable future, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” If not, seek employment elsewhere. If you stay, you forfeit the right to complain. You’re there by choice” (Welch p.50).
The major problem with this case study is the lack of communication, which produced a lack of candor and lack of trust, which resulted in conflict for Benton. Regardless if she stays or goes, Benton needs to use this as a learning experience and move forward. Bad bosses happen, and she can use Linton as a model on how not to lead in the future. As Jack Welch wrote in his book, Winning, if you want to be promotable at a job, work your butt off, do more than you’re asked to do. Perform your job beyond all expectations. Manage those below you in such a way that when they’re asked about you, they’ll say that you are fair, you care, and you were willing to show tough love. Find the right mentors to help yourself grow. Finally be positive, fun celebrate the WINS, and never compromise your values.
Feiner, M. (2004). The Feiner Points of Leadership. New York: Business Plus. Gabarro, J. and Kotter, P. (2005). Managing Your Boss. Cambridge: Harvard Business Review.
JWMI (2014). Leadership in the 21st Century – Week Four – Lecture One. JWMI (2014). Leadership in the 21st Century – Week Seven – Lecture One. JWMI (2014). Leadership in the 21st Century – Week Eight – Lecture One. Katzenbach, J. & Smith, D. (1993). The Discipline of Teams. Cambridge: Harvard Business Review.
Thomas, K. & Kilmann, R. (2007). Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), Mountain View: CPP, Inc.
Weber, K. (1994). Lisa Benton (A). Cambridge: Harvard Business Review. Welch, J. (2005). Winning. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. Wiley, J. (2014). Everything DiSC Management Profile. Glenview: Center for Internal Change.
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