("Help! I'm the New Boss.")
You are the new boss, a couple of years younger than your colleagues. Shortly after your honeymoon ends, you invite a group member to your office and nicely suggest that she change her approach to improve her efficiency, bring herself in line with department changes, etc., etc. She listens. Sits back. Unblinking, she says, "Thanks, but no thanks. I'll keep doing things my way. Will that be all?"
What do you do? Go ballistic? Calmly explain to her that she will make the changes or be fired? When it happened to me, I didn't quite know how to react. I was a first-time boss, a 26-year old free agent turned manager. No one had taught me how to react to outright disregard for my new found authority. So finally I shrugged. I sort of mumbled, "Okay, um, I understand how you feel, and, you know, we'll talk about it another time."
As one might expect, my career as a manager at the company effectively ended that day. Word of my meekness spread, as good gossip always does. I would go onto make every mistake imaginable, to the chagrin of most of the staff. I made Coach from Cheers (a television show) look masterful. My boss, who had hoped I would find my inner boss on my own, eventually cut back the number of people who reported to me. It was a tough, but, yes, merciful call.
There is some solace in realizing now that I was not simply a young and clueless manager but one of many young and clueless managers.
Questions for thought:
The following ‘areas of concern’ are provided to help stimulate your thinking and should be included in your analysis of this case. They are not intended to provide a list of questions to answer.
As a manager how would you have handled the situation yourself and mentored the new manager?
What specific traits and behaviors does the manager in question need to work on?
How would you deal with the situation of a group member who refuses to act on your suggestions for improved performance?
What type of leadership development program do you recommend implementing for a new managers?
What areas are the most important to address?
Create a report that addresses the most important issues you have identified in the case and how they can be addressed currently and avoided in the future. Do not just restate the facts of the case or answer the questions; discuss the importance of relevant issues and how they can be addressed/incorporated into a business solution.
PAPER FORMAT: Successful Critical Thinking Exercise will be three (3) to five (5) pages in length, APA format/references and 12PT font
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