SBS Leadership Assignment 1 – 2020 in Qatar
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Anna is the associate director of a nonprofit agency that provides assistance to children and families. She is the head of a department that focuses on evaluating the skill-building programs the agency provides to families. She reports directly to the agency leadership. As a whole, the agency has been cautious in hiring this year because of increased competition for federal grant funding. However, they have also suffered high staff turnover. Two directors, three key research staff, and one staff person from the finance department have left.
Anna has a demanding schedule that requires frequent travel; however, she supervises two managers who in turn are responsible for five staff members each. Both managers have been appointed within the last six months.
Manager 1: Lisa has a specific background in research. She manages staff who provide research support to another department that delivers behavioral health services to youth. Lisa supports her staff and is very organized; however, she often takes a very black and white view of issues. Upper level leadership values Lisa’s latest research on the therapeutic division’s services. Lisa’s is very motivated and driven and expects the same from her staff.
Manager 2: Maria has a strong background in social science research and evaluation. She manages staff that work on different projects within the agency. She is known as a problem solver and is extremely supportive of her staff. Maria is very organized and has a wealth of experience in evaluation of family services. She is very capable and can sometimes take on too much.
The managers are sensing that staff are becoming overworked as everyone takes on increased responsibilities due to high staff turnover. Staff have also mentioned that Anna’s “glass half- empty” conversation style leaves them feeling dejected. In addition, Anna has not shared budgets with her managers, so they are having difficulty appropriately allocating work to staff. Anna said she has not received sufficient information from the finance department to complete the budgets. The finance department said they have sent her all the information they have available.
As staff become distressed, the managers are becoming frustrated. They feel like they are unable to advocate for their staff or solve problems without key information like the departmental budget.
Answer all the below questions:
- How can Anna most effectively use both management and leadership skills in her role as associate director? What combination of the two do you think would work best in this setting?
- What steps could be taken to build staff confidence?
- What advice would you give Anna on improving her leadership skills and to the managers on improving their management skills?
- Which leadership style do you think a leader would need to be effective in this situation?
One of the most successful discount department stores in America is known as Wal-Mart stores and is named after its founder Sam Walton. Because of the phenomenal success of these stores, Sam Walton became one of the richest men in America. Also, because of his leadership, the stores have enjoyed continuous growth and expansion, so that by mid 1980s, the chain had over 700 stores and was increasing at the rate of an additional 100 stores per year. Its sales increased annually by over 35% and the profits have soared close to 40% per year every year since 1975.
Sam Walton, until he died in 1992, took personal interest in his employees. His managerial philosophy was to get the right people in the right places and then give them the freedom to be innovative to accomplish their tasks. He called his employees as associates and treated them as associates. As per company policy, all associates are eligible for-profit sharing plans that motivate the employees further. The managers of the stores are required and encouraged to meet with their employees in a social setting to discuss their concerns as well as issues of organizational interest, and this makes the employees feel that their input is taken seriously by the management.
Sam Walton himself led a simple life. He did not exhibit any aura about himself, giving the employees a feeling that he was one of them. He and his executives regularly travelled in company owned planes to visit Wal-Mart stores situated at various sites across the country. He met with salesclerks, stock boys and sales managers to find out what items were popular. He knew most of them by their first names and addressed them so. He initiated “employee of the month” in all categories and created honor roles for more successful stores. This created inner competition requiring extra effort to improve sales and service. This policy gained high respect for him as a leader.
- What leadership theory is consistent with his leadership style? Explain your answer.
- What are the key leadership skills that Sam Walton used to be successful leader? Mention minimum of five and explain in detail.
- As a leader in 2020, what other techniques would use utilize to motivate your employees. Mention minimum of five and explain in details.
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