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100 word response to each case study.
Julia is a director at a financial firm who has four managers under her supervision. Julia’s boss, Laura, has been told by company employees that Julia has not been supervising them close enough. Julia trusts that her managers will do their job accordingly and do not need someone who has to watch them.
Julia supervises 4 managers in different departments as well as spends time with major customers and meeting with senior executives.
Company employees are telling Julia’s boss about Julia’s ineffective leadership.
When one manager asked for advice, Julia told him his “job was to develop contacts on [his] own” (DuBrin, 2016).
Another manager would like Julia to be more involved as she does not feel she has enough experience.
A different manager under Julia’s supervision has already found employment elsewhere. She did not have a partnership with Julia.
The Root Cause:
The root cause of Julia being blamed for not closely supervising her managers does not solely belong to her. Both the managers and Julia should be in contact with one another as managers are supposed to report to her with how things are going in their department. One of the managers barely knew who Julia was, so it is apparent some of the managers were either not reporting back to Julia on a regular basis or Julia was not providing enough feedback to the managers to build those professional relationships. These managers are in charge of their department, and if they feel like they are doing a subpar job, they should be able to contact Julia about this. Furthermore, Julia should not refuse to help them because she wants them to figure it out on their own. Julia’s job includes supervising those 4 managers, and it is apparent she is not doing this well enough.
Ultimately, Julia oversees these managers and decides on when she should supervise them. However, she should understand that she should intervene before there is a problem rather than after she notices one. Julia should get to know her managers and come to an understanding between them with how much supervision they may require. One of her managers enjoys Julia not being with her every step of the way whereas her other managers want to know that she will be there when needed. Managers should put it upon themselves to report back to Julia about their department and keep in close contact with her in case a problem does arise.
When managers do not have a supervisor who analyzes their every move, they have that responsibility to make almost all decisions regarding their department. This allows them to grow as individuals and as leaders themselves.
The disadvantages of having a supervisor who does not have close relationships with their supervisees includes them being overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities. For example, one of the managers being supervised by Julia did not feel like she was ready to be on her own. If the managers do not feel like they can do their job or are unsure if they are doing it successfully, they won’t be able to help their department or employees grow.
I would suggest the following:
1. Julia needs to oversee her managers closer so that she can stop a problem before it becomes one. She also needs to help them when needed so that they are able to thrive along with the department they oversee.
2. If Julie does not want to work like this, I think it would be beneficial for the company for Laura to replace her with someone who wants to help her managers and company succeed.
1. To what extent has Julia chosen the right approach to leading the managers in her unit of financial services firm?
Julia is allowing her managers to manage their own division without intervention from her. This shows she trusts them and their decisions. This allows the managers to become more independent and learn the actions of their decisions regardless if it was the right choice or not.
2. What advice can you offer Julia to be a more effective leader?
I would advise Julia to get to know her managers better. One of them appreciates the “lack” of supervision Julia provides; however, the three other managers would enjoy more feedback and supervision from her. She has to show to them that she respects them and wants to help them succeed.
3. What advice can you offer Laura to help Julia be a more effective leader?
Laura needs to be honest with Julia about her expectations of what a leader is and how she should be supervising her managers. For example, Julia should be able to give more feedback to the managers as to how their performance is. Also, Julia can motivate them to become better managers/continuing the great job they are doing. Laura has to show her what being an effective leader means by example by telling her these same comments. I believe this would be a great way to show Julia what she should be doing as a leader.
4. Explain whether you think Laura was justified in asking Julia’s direct reports about Julia’s approach to leadership.
Ultimately, Laura is Julie’s boss and part of Laura’s job is to ensure that Julie is completing her duties. One of Julie’s duties is to be a leader to her managers and talking to them is a great way to get feedback about how Julia is doing regarding this. If Julia was doing her job effectively, the managers might not say anything negative. However, they seemed to be very honest with how they perceived Julia’s leadership, and it will be great feedback for Julia to learn what she is doing incorrectly.
DuBrin, A.J. (2016). The nature and importance of leadership. Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills (Eighth Edition). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Case Study Problem B-Chen
Mary Chen is a manager of a subprime mortgage department for a large bank, who offer mortgage loans to people who they know cannot afford them, some of which who have had previous foreclosures or whose credit is excellent. Chen thinks that she is helping these families who cannot secure a loan from another lender, she believes she is doing a good job for the world by lending to them. Yet the department is not running smoothly because of how she is managing the department and not implementing guidelines and stipulations on who qualifies for loans. Which has led to many foreclosures on loans they have issued, and the late payments drastically rising due to the increasing adjustable rate mortgage.
The Root Cause:
The first problem is the type of customers they are lending too, knowing some will not be able to afford the house they bought. This causes an uncomfortable environment in the workplace because the employees are not excited about their job anymore, they are ashamed because they are failing the customers by offering loans to people who they knew couldn’t pay for the loan they received. The other problem is Chen is in total denial believing they can continue offering these bad loans, and not listening to the advice given to her by manager telling her to be a better leader, also not acknowledging her employees are all going to either quit or transfer out of the department because their morale is at an all-time low.
Chen needs to step up and make some needed changes to the qualification process and have restrictions on which customers do not meet these guidelines. They can still offer loans to hard-working people who need a second chance, for instance, a family that fell on hard times and had a short sale or else they were going to go into foreclosure over 2 years ago. No loans should be offered to anyone who has gone into foreclosure within 3 years of applying for a loan. They can work with the customer getting their finances back on track offering help by explaining to them how they can recover their credit. Chen also needs to address the morale issue before all her employees leave, they believe their job is no longer important and that it is meaningless. I believe after she implements the changes the morale may shift in a positive way, but she still needs to have sit-downs with her department leads, and if she doesn’t have any, she needs to offer the job to two senior employees who are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)this way she takes shares some of the stresses of the job. SMEs can be the barrier between her having to interact with the everyday functions with the employees, this way she can focus on policies and guidelines and be the forefront for the department. Designating the day to day task to the SMEs can give the employees an outlet to talk freely about their frustrations without getting themselves fired for speaking inappropriately to the manager. It also allows them to feed ideas to the SMEs on ways to make the department run smoother and if the SME believes the idea is good they can then bring that up to the Chen, if the SME does not think it will work she can explain to them on ways to fix the problem, this leaves Chen to focus on the big picture.
1. What advice might you offer Mary Chen to pick up morale in her department?
Besides the things already mentioned I would also have a meeting with the department and explain to them the new changes that will be implemented and giving power back to the SMEs and/or start of SMEs. If SMEs are a new thing in the department, she can have them explain what their job responsibilities will be, which will give them a great start in the department to establish a chain of command as we say in the military. Also, she can ask for suggestions from the employees on ways to boost morale and tell them she thanks them for their support thus far, explain she knows that it has been frustrating, but she hopes the new implementations will help them learn to enjoy their jobs again.
2.Which leadership role should Chen empathize to lead the group out of its funk?
She should be positive motivator demonstrating that if they all work together, they can produce change that they can all be proud of. She should assure them that she knows times have been hard, and frustrating but she is committed to turning the department around. She has to rebuild their trust in her leadership and regain their confidence by displaying a hopeful and optimistic outcome. She also should encourage them to make suggestions and ideas to keep moving forward and to be upfront on what’s not working.
3.To what extent do you believe the statement of Chen’s manager that “a true leader can guide a group through rough times”?
I believe in the statement wholeheartedly, if you have been that employee who felt like you were in a funk at your job, you remember that feeling, you also remember that you don’t ever want to feel like that again. You use that frustration and anger and you pour your blood sweat and tears into turning that funk around. Coming up with ways to make your job a little better, but the only way to do this is having a supervisor who is supportive and who will listen to your ideas. If Chen can dig deep and remember a time like this then it will humble her, and she will listen to her employees’ suggestions and act on them. You are only as good as your employees, so if you can listen to the people who do the job every day make suggestions and ideas to tweak or improve the business then you are demonstrating qualities of a true leader.
Case Study B – The Subprime Department Blues
The subprime mortgage department is offering loans to people with not so good credit. The interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages began to increase, causing borrowers to be late on payments and ultimately foreclosure. The media is blaming the subprime mortgage department lenders for making a negative impact on the community.
Creating mortgages for people who do not have excellent credit records.
The lenders being blamed for a possible recession and stock market decline.
The mortgage lenders were calling in sick more frequently.
Mary Chen does not know how to encourage her team to keep working hard regardless of the negative effects.
The Root Cause:
The first and biggest cause to the negative impact on the office is the type of customers this department is primarily dealing with. It is nice that the bank wants to be generous and help those that want to be homeowners, but how are they doing those borrowers justice when records show they cannot afford the home in the first place. The subprime department believes they are doing good in the world, but in all actuality they are causing a stressful situations in the homes of the borrower and a depressing impact on society. The second root cause to this madness is the continued increase of the adjustable rate mortgages. When the borrower is given their initial mortgage payment, they now how a budget to where they can meet their payments. By these borrowers not having the best credit history, is a sign that if more money is need or required they might not be able to meet these demands. These borrowers having these adjustable rate mortgages are not helping them because they probably were not planning for their mortgage to increase, although it is a possibility
Mary Chen needs to sit down with the necessary banks leaders and make the required changes to the processing of loan applications. It is understandable that the subprime department wants to do some good, but they need to take a set back and consider are they setting their borrowers up for failure or success? Mary Chen needs to have training with her department. The training needs to cover looking for clear indications that this potential borrower could be a foreclosure. They also need to have training on how to sale fixed rate mortgages versus the adjustable rate mortgages. Even if the fixed rate is higher than the adjustable at the initial loan time, that will give them a piece of mind in the end because they will not have to stress if their loan ever did increase.
The subprime mortgage department can bounce back. Mortgage companies always take hits and some loan periods for buying a home are better than others. The department lenders just have to remember what their mission is ultimately.
The bank cannot control what the rate mortgages will be, when the rates are on the higher end of the scale, the lenders will have to be a little harder on screening before giving a loan. The lenders will have to learn to ignore the media, they will talk about you whether the bank is doing good or bad.
1.Sit down with the bank leaders and discuss making the necessary changes to the loan screening in the subprime department.
2.Have training with the subprime department when implementing the new changes.
1. What advice might you offer Mary Chen to pick up morale in her department?
I suggest the office close for the day or early to regroup before implementing their new changes. The office should have a day out together where they can regroup and decompress. They can vent to each other and talk about their expectations going forward.
2. Which leadership role should Chen emphasize to lead the group out of its funk?
Mary Chen needs to be a Coach and motivator. She needs to show her team the necessary tools and fundamentals to get the job done. Once she has laid the foundation for the group, she has to encourage them through the process, especially in the beginning while everything is new.
3. To what extent do you believe the statement of Chen’s manager that “a true leader can guide a group through rough times”?
I agree with this statement, a true leader will not only tell you how to overcome hardship, but they will show you. Sometimes being a leader is not about words, but about the actions. A true leader will lead you by example.
Case Study B – Amy Touchstone Wants to Shape Up the Club
Amy Touchstone was promoted to a position that she was unaware of her task. Suggestions have been put into the club manager box on improving the club and they have not been handled. The East End Athletic Club is not efficient, clean, and as sharp as it should be for the rates they charge.
The men’s locker room is not being kept clean.
The staff seems uninterested when helping the members and that they are doing the members a favor by allowing them to use the facility.
The members are being charged to use places in the facility, although they already pay high monthly dues.
The Root Cause:
A problem that I see is that the members of the club have given written notices for issue in the club house, but no one has done anything to address the concerns. It is fair for a person spending their hard earned money, has expectations for how the facility is supposed to be. Another problem is that the workers at the facility are not making the members happiness and comfortably their priority. The workers need to understand what the mission of the facility is and their position in making it happen.
Now that Amy has gone through the manager suggestion box, she needs to sit down with her manager and discuss how they are going to address the concerns of members. Amy needs to have an individual meeting with each of her staff members, to update their responsibilities at the Athletic Club. There needs to be given a mission for East End Athletic Club, all the employees of the club need to memorize this mission, and going forward Amy needs to ensure the mission is being upheld.
Amy is ready and willing to make the East End Athletic Club a better facility. She communicated with her manager about her responsibility and what is expected of her. Amy was able to use techniques she learned in the past to help fix the issues in her facility.
Amy will have to reel in her staff to do a better job going forward. She will need to change the negative stigma of the facility in order for members to not want to leave.
1. Amy needs to have a meeting with her manager to address the concerns of the club members.
2. Amy needs to have individual meetings with her staff to cover what their role and responsibilities as an employee of the club house are.
3. Have a mission for East End Athletic Club and the staff.
1. Which personal characteristics of a leader should Touchstone emphasize in bringing about improvements in the operation of the East End Athletic Club?
Amy will need to be assertive in expressing what she expects from her staff. Her assertiveness will show that she is serious about the necessary actions of how the facility needs to operate.
2. Which leadership roles should Touchstone emphasize in bringing about improvements in the operation of the club?
Amy will have to be a spokesperson. She will be the first line of defense for handling all the issues of the members and facilitating to her staff what changes need to be made.
3. What do you recommend that Touchstone do next to carry out her leadership responsibility of improving operations?
Be the example that her staffs needs. Amy needs her staff to see how customer service needs to be done. Although, Amy is the supervisor she needs to be a part of the team and not have the “do as I Say, not as I do mentality”, this will help the staff operate smoothly as a unit.
Jimmy, a former Navy officer and current manager at a hardware store, is having a hard time adjust to his new leadership position. Some of his employees believe he is taking the job too seriously after sending out an email to his department about deficiencies he noticed.
Jimmy is a former Navy officer for 5 years who was making decisions that could have been life altering for him and his crew.
Because of the serious nature, he has always had high expectations of the people he was leading.
Jimmy is now working at a hardware store where none of his decisions are life threatening.
He is leading associates who are only there because they need a job, not because they truly care about the store’s success.
The Root Cause:
The root cause of Jimmy taking his position so seriously is because he was in ROTC for 4 years and in the Navy for 5 years afterwards. He learned that mistakes could be life threatening which is why he had high expectations of those he led. After becoming a manager, he was able to be a leader again and ultimately have those same expectations he had when he was in the Navy.
To start off, Jimmy needs to change the way he leads as his employees are even stating that they feel like they are in the Navy working under him. Jimmy needs to be more flexible as some of his employees do not care what happens to the company, and he needs to understand that not everything will get done every single day that he works there. I believe a team meeting would be beneficial so that Jimmy can convey his expectations as well as hear from his employees why certain things are not being completed.
If Jimmy has such high expectations, it could push his employees to do everything they can to meet those expectations. If certain people are meeting those expectations, it could encourage other staff to work just as hard to get that recognition. In turn, this would improve the success of his department.
The disadvantages of having a manager who has high expectations is that no one believes they can meet those expectations, so no one is motivated to try to do so. This can create low morale among the staff which could cause more problems for the department. This would lead to frustration with Jimmy as well because he is not able to feel like he is leading his staff.
I would suggest the following:
1. Jimmy and his staff need to have a team meeting for him to convey his expectations with his team and even have team building exercises. This could improve morale and encourage all staff to increase their productivity to meet Jimmy’s expectations.
2. If this does not work, Jimmy could speak to his managers about what he could be doing better to motivate his team or if he should decrease his expectations. Even with a decrease of expectations, it could encourage his team to work harder to meet them.
1. Which leadership characteristics of Jimmy Badger are revealed in this case? Justify your conclusions.
Jimmy has showed that he trustworthy. When he first started, he told his staff that he would be available 24/7 for any concerns they may have. He also wants his staff to make suggestions as to how they can improve their department. This shows that he wants to have those open relationships with his staff that helps build trustworthiness.
He has also shown his authenticity. His staff know about his past as a Navy officer, and he made it clear from the beginning what his expectations were of his staff. Jimmy also seems to be very assertive. He knows what he wants done, and he will let his staff know what he wants to be completed.
2. To what extent should Jimmy modify his leadership approach?
Jimmy has a lot of general personality traits that are needed in a leader, but I believe he needs more task-related personality traits. He knows what he wants done by his employees, but he needs to show more passion for his work and his staff. As I mentioned previously, he also needs to be more flexible with his staff as he has to understand not everything will got done every day he works there. He may put that expectation on his staff, but he should not take it personally if this happens.
3. What do you think of the home-improvement store’s positive bias toward hiring former military officers for its management in training programs?
I think it is a great bias to have for a business. Former military officers will have great leadership experience and I think it will have a positive influence on their business and how the staff is run. However, I also think current employees should be considered for management in training programs as well because they have that background knowledge of the company and they probably have more passion to see it and the people succeed. However, passion is something that is built that anyone can acquire whereas military leadership experience is harder to come by.
Though Auto Pal continues to grow in terms of stores and income, with profit margins thin and heavy competition, the pace of conducting business at Auto Pal is hectic. The management and leadership is just not found.
Sid, a merchandise specialist requested a two-week paternity leave because baby was due any day now.
§ “That such a request was kind of wimpy, and a little bit out of the ordinary.” “Don’t you have a mother-in-law who can help with the new baby? Or are you so poor that you can’t hire a nanny for two weeks?”
Katie, a merchandising specialist sent Brittany a detailed report about new procurement software that might save Auto Pal thousands of dollars in the long run.
§Brittany sent back an email statin in part, “Does this great new software come from a company that employs a relative of yours? We are already using state-of-the-art software.”
Jeff, office manager and most senior employee, sent Brittany an email. Jeff asked Brittany if he could take his 10 days of vacation in 5 2-day pieces next year instead of 10 consecutive working days.
§Brittany sent an email back the very next day. The email stated, “I like your idea Jeff. In this way your work flow would be less disrupted. And besides an old-times like you needs a few more long weekends than the real of us do.”
Derek, Auto Pal CEO asked Brittany how well she was proceeding with her strategic plan for next year.
§“Not much progress yet. I’m running around putting out fires and dealing with the realities of making sure that my team gets the right merchandise into the stores.”
§“Maybe you could have one of those overpaid marketing specialists dream up a strategic plan that I could sign off on?”
The Root Cause:
Brittany’s brash leadership and uncaring management skills have evidently been able to run rampant without anyone reigning her in and giving her formal leadership and management training. This shown as how she speaks to those that work for her as subordinates or besides her as management—especially when the CEO of the company that you manage and work for addresses you. But, there is no rational excuse for how brash and harshly that Blunt Brittany the director of merchandising treats and speaks to everyone—subordinates to the CEO of Auto Pal. It is brutally clear that no one has thought to tame her tongue—no matter how much money that she may bring or make the company. I have never heard of anyone acting as she does in the capacity that she is in and STILL be employed, without owning the business.
The Real Root Cause is no manager in this company seeing her constant disrespect as a problems.
Brittany obviously has had great managerial run with Auto Pal and I think this is because this is because it is of the actual business dealing mainly with men. Who may be just as brash as Brittany and when she needs to she can get back with them. But, not everyone deserves to be treated in this manner.
Honestly, Brittany crossed the line when she suggested forgery to the CEO of the company that she worked for. She showed the CEO to his face that she was not fit to run his company. She displayed the tendency that she would do everything and anything that she needed to do to get her tasks done/completed.
oBrittany is despicable. She should have been terminated immediately.
In case the CEO felt the need to give Brittany another chance, she should be required to go through intensive, extensive management and Leadership training.
If Brittany is required to take the intensive extensive management and leadership training it can only make things bigger, greater, and a more humane environment on the job. Brittany may revert back to herself after work. But hopefully on the job her management and leadership training would take over. In addition to the original management and leadership training, Brittany will need annual refresher training courses.
Brittany could take the courses and not retain a thing. She could think that she has been doing ok without the training and does not need it now. So to keep her job, she could take the required training and not utilize anything that was taught. In that instance, management or the Board of Trustees would need to meet and decide whether it is feasible to keep Brittany or start looking for another merchandising manager that would make morale at the store optimum.
I would suggest the following:
1.I would suggest that the management take a close, hard serious look at their business before and after Brittany. This to decide on whether to keep her on as merchandising manager or find another merchandising manager.
2.If the management decides to keep Brittany then there needs to be a plan of action in place. The first step in that plan is to have Brittany complete an intensive and extensive management training course with annual refresher training. The second step would be for intensive and extensive leadership training course with annual refresher training.
1.In which leadership traitor characteristic does Brittany seem to need the most development?
a.In all honesty, humility and core-self evaluations, trustworthiness and emotional intelligence seem to all be running neck with Brittany’s top needs in my book. It will take a lot to break those hardened habits of hers that she used to manage speaking to everyone that she dealt with. She definitely has no passion for the work or people. Well maybe more for the work than the people.
b.Brittany needs a complete total overhaul.
2.How would you rate Brittany’s warmth and enthusiasm as a leader?
Are you kidding me? Brittany has no warmth trait whatsoever! Something must have really happened to her. In order for her to be so unemotionally attached to her co-workers. Brittany