SCREENING A GOOD LEADERSHIP

by ALYOU ALEM TEBEJE

Bachelor of .Art, Metropolitan State University of Minnesota, 2003

Master of Business Administration, Argosy University, 2005

A Paper Submitted to Dr. William Kelly of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree DOCTOR OF EDUCATION

SAINT MARY’S UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

  MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

Copyright © 2007

Alyou Alem Tebeje

 

 

 

Abstract

This case examines working conditions in the electronic tools industry, focusing on a new line of cordless drills in Hand-On Nationwide Company, Minneapolis. The cordless drills are a new product in a highly competitive market. The company needs a new Product Manager for the cordless drill line in El Paso. The challenge is to identify the best Product and Marketing Manager for El Paso site. Selecting the right manager who will have the leadership skills, charisma and determination to lead a major innovation initiative is one of the most important decisions the Vice President and Director of Marketing, Karen Moore has to make. Identifying new Product Manger entails thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation, and above all, consultation with, and involvement of, the people affected by the changes. If you force change on people normally problems arise. Change must be realistic, achievable and measurable. My paper defines strategies with distinct leadership imperatives. Each of these strategies requires a different emphasis by management in at least four areas: enabling process, organizational mechanism, cultural trait and people profile.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Screening a Good Leader

Introduction

Recruiting and hiring Product and Marketing manager is an enormous task, particularly if one seeks to do it right. And that’s particularly important in a profession that is guided by a code of ethics. Recruitment must be a core strategic asset if people are contributors to competitive advantage. Very few businesses today don’t depend heavily on having the right people in the right place at the right time. Hiring effectively is often more important than hiring efficiently. Efficiency is a measure of speed and cost. Efficiency says “Getting someone in here right away is more important than getting the right person later. Effectiveness is a measure of quality. Hiring the right person is more important than hiring someone right away.

Business Background

The Hand-On Nationwide Company electronic tools industry is focusing on a new line of cordless drills. Hands-On has developed a new line of cordless drills.  The company needs a new Product Manager for the cordless drill line in El Paso. The Product Manager will oversee production and a sales team, and successfully launch the new cordless drill product. With this knowledge, and a corporate vision of utilizing technology to further their competitive position. In the manufacturer world, brand value, product lifecycle management and consumer knowledge are the foundations of success.

Problem Research

These aspects are especially relevant to managing personal change. Before appointing new Product and  Market manger we need to identify the Hand-On Nationwide Company need to identify the problem, gather information, develop courses of action analyze and compare, make a decision, make a plan, and implement the plan. What do we want to achieve with this new manager, why, and how will we know that the best choice has been achieved? Who is affected by the new appointment, and how will they react to it? How much of this change can we achieve ourselves, and what parts of the change do we need help with? These aspects also relate strongly to the management of personal as well as organizational change.

Research questions

The question, what qualities does the good leader need? can be addressed in defining a good leadership and offer a simple classification of effective leaders based on contribution; that reflects both the strategic objectives pursued and describe a number of broad leadership imperatives implicit in each generic innovation effort; and identify some key leadership skills, qualities and styles required for success in each generic type of innovation effort.

 

CHAPTER TWO

Literature Review

The primary job responsibilities of the Product Manager are to develop effective programs for sales of current and new products, work within budget to maintain or increase product sales levels, communicate sales needs to territory salespeople, and implement new marketing programs to new markets. Bolman and Deal (1991) suggest that leaders display leadership behaviors in one of four types of frameworks: Structural, Human Resource, Political, or Symbolic. The style can either be effective or ineffective, depending upon the chosen behavior in certain situations.  Bass’ (1989 & 1990) theory of leadership states explanations on how people become leaders with some personality traits ( people like coaches, teachers, mentors) may lead people naturally into leadership roles; crisis or important event leaders may cause a person to rise to the occasion (Rudy Giuliani from New York) which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person. And transformational leaders (people can choose to become leaders. People can learn leadership skills).

Leaders must demonstrate certain qualities in order to counsel effectively, this quality includes the belief that individuals are responsible for their own actions and ideas. It includes an awareness of a person’s individuality though unique values, attributes, and skills (Bolman & Deal, 1991). As you attempt to develop people through counseling, you must refrain from projecting you own values onto them. The more you are aware of your own values, needs, and biases, the less likely you will be to project your feelings onto your followers. Credible leaders are straightforward with their subordinates and behave in such a manner that they respect and trust their words. Leaders will be better able to help subordinates identify the situation and develop a plan to improve the situation.

Leaders are not as effective because their employees only obey them, not follow them. They succeed in many areas because they present a good image to their seniors at the expense of their team.  If you are a leader that can be trusted, then the people around you will learn to respect you (Horton, 1990). At all times involve and agree support from people within system (system environment, processes, culture, relationships, behaviors, etc., whether personal or organizational). Understand where you/the organization is at the moment. Understand where you want to be, when, why, and what the measures will be for having got there. Product Plan development towards appropriate achievable measurable stages, Communicate involve, enable and facilitate involvement from people, as early and openly and as fully as is possible.

One of the main responsibilities of the industrial production manager is to oversee the production process, reducing costs wherever possible and making sure products are produced on time and are of good quality. They do this by analyzing the plant’s personnel and capital resources to select the best way of meeting the production goals. Industrial production managers may determine which machines will be used, whether new machines need to be purchased, whether overtime or extra shifts are necessary, and what the sequence of production will be. They monitor the production run to make sure that it stays on schedule and correct any problems that may arise.

The manager has a responsibility to facilitate and enable change, and all that is implied within that statement, especially to understand the situation from an objective standpoint (to step back, and be non-judgmental), and then to help people understand reasons, aims, and ways of responding positively according to employees’ own situations and capabilities. Increasingly the manager’s role is to interpret, communicate and enable – not to instruct and impose, which nobody really responds to well.

There are different factors that affect leadership such as the follower, leader, communication, and situation: A leaders must have honest understanding of who they are; what they know, and what they can do. Also, note that it is the followers, not the leader who determines if a leader is successful. Leaders must have good communication, what and how they communicate either builds or harms the relationship between them and their followers. Leaders understand all situations are different, they must use their judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation.

Business development potentially includes everything involved with the quality of the business or the organization. Business development planning first requires establishing the business development aims, and then formulating a business development strategy, which would comprise some or all of the following methods of development: sales development, new product development, new market development, business organization, shape, structure and processes development (eg, outsourcing, e-business, etc), tools, equipment, plant, logistics and supply-chain development, people, management and communications (capabilities and training) development, strategic partnerships and distribution routes development, international development, and acquisitions and disposals

Planning, implementing and managing change in a fast-changing environment is increasingly the situation in which most organizations now work (Hersey & Blanchard, 1977). Dynamic environments such as these require dynamic processes, people, systems and culture, especially for managing change successfully, notably effectively optimizing organizational response to market opportunities and threats. Plan long-term broadly a sound strategic vision, not a specific detailed plan (the latter is impossible to predict reliably). Detailed five years plans are out of date two weeks after they are written. Focus on detail for establishing and measuring delivery of immediate actions, not medium-to-long-term plans.

Kotter & Cohen (2002) describe a helpful model for understanding and managing change. Each stage acknowledges a key principle identified by Kotter (2002) relating to people’s response and approach to change, in which people see, feel and then change. Kotter (2002) eight step change model can be very helpful for this process. The management able increase urgency (inspire people to move, make objectives real and relevant), build the guiding team (get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels). Get the vision right (get the team to establish a simple vision and strategy focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive service and efficiency). Communicate for buy in (Involve as many people as possible communicate the essentials, simply, and to appeal and respond to people’s needs). Empower action (remove obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support from leaders – reward and recognize progress and achievements). Create short-term goals (set aims that are easy to achieve). Finish current stages before starting new ones. Encourage ongoing progress reporting, highlight achieved and future milestones. Reinforce the value of successful changes.

Part of an industrial production manager’s job is to come up with ways to make the production process more efficient (Bass, 1989). In recent years, traditional mass assembly lines have given way to “lean” production techniques, which gives managers more flexibility. In a traditional assembly line, each worker is responsible for only a small portion of the assembly, repeating that task on every product. Lean production employs teams to build and assemble products in stations or cells, so rather than specializing in a specific task, workers are capable of performing all jobs within a team. As (Bolman & Deal, 1991) indicates without the constraints of the traditional assembly line, industrial production managers can more easily change production levels and staffing on different product lines to minimize inventory levels and more quickly react to changing customer demands.

Industrial production managers also monitor product standards and implement quality control programs. They make sure the finished product meets a certain level of quality, and if not, they try to find out what the problem is and find a solution. According to Pande (2001) while traditional quality control programs reacted only to problems that reached a certain significant level, Pande (2001) newer management techniques and programs, such as ISO 9000. Total Quality Management (TQM), or Six Sigma, emphasize continuous quality improvement (Pande, 2001). If the problem relates to the quality of work performed in the plant, the manager may implement better training programs or reorganize the manufacturing process often based upon the suggestions of employee teams (Northouse, 2001). If the cause is substandard materials or parts from outside suppliers, the industrial production manager may work with the supplier to improve their quality.

Industrial production managers work closely with the other managers of the firm to implement the company’s policies and goals (Bolman & Deal, 1991). They also must work with the financial departments in order to come up with a budget and spending plan. In particular, though, production managers work most closely with the heads of sales, procurement, and logistics. Sales managers relay the client’s needs and the price the client is willing to pay to the production department, which must then fulfill the order (Bennis, 1989).

At Hand-On Nationwide Company, mainly low-income, working-class families inhabit the Mexican borderlands.  The El Paso plant has over 65% it workers are Mexican and more than half of the immigrant workers are women. There have been no incidents in past 10 months, also there have been a history of tension between the Caucasian and Mexican workers at the plant in fact that the white workers won’t stand for a Mexican workers who are willing to work for less, even though Mexican workers barely earn enough wages to sustain themselves and their families. Negotiations, conflict, and the resolution of both are studied from a variety of behavioral and social science perspectives, share a similar viewpoint (Kagel & Kelly, 1989).

One of the most important questions surrounding the debate over Mexican immigration to the United States is its impact on the U.S. economy (Shaiken & et.al, 2004). Immigration has become one of the most controversial public policy issues in American society (Shaiken, 2001). The El Paso plant workers need to be counsel by professional people. Counseling has a powerful, long-term impact on people and the effectiveness of the organization. Counseling is talking with a person in a way that helps that person solve a problem or helps to create conditions that will cause the person to improve his behavior.

It involves thinking, implementing, knowing human nature, sincerity, and kindness. Our bias and prejudice are deeply rooted within us (Horton, 1990). Most problems in the work place are not that people cannot do their jobs. It is that people cannot get along with other people. Embracing diversity has several benefits for the organization to attract good people to broaden their customer base in a very competitive environment. In order to attract this wide variety of cultures, organizations must truly become multi-culture themselves. The diversity of immigrants’ cultural backgrounds is claimed to be enriching American culture, but the Mexican labor issues has become one of the most controversial public policy issues in American society (Shaiken, 2001). According to Shaiken (2001) differing patterns of conflict and harmony between immigrant, class, racial, and ethnic groups in American are the burdens of rapid growth of Mexican immigrant workers are an issue for national policies designed to diminish local conflict situations.

The result is enhanced productivity, profitability, and market responsiveness by achieving a dynamic organization and culture in work force. Culture represents the shared expectations and self-image of the organization (Hersey & Blanchard, 1977). Organizational culture is a system of shared values, assumptions, beliefs, and norms that unite the members of the organization. Individual leaders cannot easily create or change culture. Organizations have to realize that the cultures of the world are their potential customers. Not too long ago, most businesses focused on the young and/or middle age white classes. This was where the money was. Now, thanks to great efforts towards recognizing the many facets of diversity and the good that it brings us, increasingly amounts of money is starting to be in the hands of people from a wide range of diverse backgrounds.

As production operations become more sophisticated, increasing numbers of employers are looking for candidates with graduate degrees in industrial management or business administration.

In addition to formal training, industrial production managers must keep informed of new production technologies and management practices. According to (Bolman & Deal, 1991) many professional organizations and attend trade shows at which new equipment is displayed; they also attend industry conferences and conventions at which changes in production methods and technological advances are discussed. Some take courses to become certified in various quality and management systems.

 

CHAPTER THREE

Assessment Methodology for El Paso Plant

Originality

Shows why top management must fully understand the importance of matching the skills of leaders with the specific tasks and roles they will face in specific situations. Successful organizations have good leaders who set high standards and goals across the entire spectrum such as strategies, market leadership, plans, presentations, productivity, quality, and reliability.

Credibility

This quality is achieved through both honesty and consistency between the leader’s statements and actions. Credible leaders are straightforward with their subordinates and behave in such a manner that they respect and trust their words.

Problem Identification 

The methods for problem identification customer surveys, these can be written or oral. If oral, ensure they are consistent. Otherwise, your measurements will not be accurate. The employee suggestions and brainstorming are important for problem identification process.

Determination

Determine all the tasks and conditions necessary to carry out the plan. All essential information must be brought out. It is also important to consider timing – when each task must be started and completed. A helpful approach is to use “backward planning.” Look at each goal and decide what must be done to reach it.

 

Planning

A detailed plan must include who, what, when, where, how, and why. Who will do what? Who does it involve? What are we going to do? When does it start? When does it end? Where will it take place? How will it take place? Why must we do it…what will happen if we do not do it? A goal is just a dream with a deadline.” And that goal will remain a dream unless you create and execute a plan of action to accomplish it. Every goal that gets accomplished has a plan behind of it. Good plans start with a brainstorming session of all the people involved with the project. This allows everyone to be part of the solution and gathers the best ideas.  As much as possible, get all the answers to these questions. Listen carefully to the judgment of your followers.

Allocating Resources

Plan for obtaining all the required resources and allocate them out. Not having the required resources can stop a project dead in its tracks. For this reason you must closely track and monitor costly or hard to get resources.

Analysis

Once you have laid out the process, you are then ready to analyze the process for problems or bottlenecks. A good process model will expose the truth of the organization. The analysis should also include the performance, cost, quality service and time.

Executing

Now you are ready to execute the project. If your plans are solid, things will go smooth. If your plans are faulty, then you have a very long and hard project ahead of you! Throughout the project’s execution, there are three things that you must be involved in: standards, performance, and adjustments.

Implementation

This is where you put your plan into action. This phase involves change and whenever you have change, you can have resistance. Please read the chapter on change for smoothing the implementation of the new process.

Evaluation

You evaluate in the analysis phase by determining if there really is a problem. In the design phase, a target is developed to determine what the improvement will actually be. You cannot know if the project succeeded unless you measure it. Evaluations are used to measure the success or failure of a change.

Final Recommendation

In my experience, companies’ successes are largely dependent on two things – products and people. The Company without a doubt has an excellent product in its recruitment offer, and importantly to reinforce this, they have also provided the right quality of people to work. Once in-place, Hand-On Nationwide Company began to feel significant benefits of the new approach. Karen Moore needs an experienced product manager who has great talent for identifying and analyzing problems experienced by people. Profile of leader: Graduate in Business Administration with experience orientation in marketing excellent with personal interrelationships and basic accounting and financial knowledge, very good at strategic planning and organization, good computer skills, and strong abilities in conflict resolution and being proactive.

I will advice Karen Moore to identify the problem. I will make sure she really knows the problem when confronted with a problem. Product management is one of the best training grounds for future corporate officers. The new product manager will be responsible for research and development, packaging, manufacturing, sales and distribution, advertising, promotion, market research, and business analysis and forecasting. I recommend that the newcomer should have a Masters of Business Administration degree (MBA). This person leads the El Paso branch eventually latter moves on to manage a larger brand.

A good leader develops through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. This guide will help you through that process. The perfect person will also have experience working with engineers to design innovative products. This person will own definition, product marketing and sales support for specific feature improvements and extensions to the Hands-On Nation wide Company family. The candidates must have experience years in product management. The new Product Manger will author product marketing content, analyze competitive features, build in-depth demos for technical audiences, support strategic sales and partnering opportunities, and track and consolidate customer requirements and input from many channels. He needs to know or understand new or old technology.

The best leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills. The new Manger will be able to work closely with minority/diversity groups, people from different ethnics background, being able to perform as a team member, able to perform safely in the work environment is not just about knowledge and skills. It also requires the correct attitude.

Conclusion

Leadership is a complex process by which a person influences others to accomplish a mission, task, or objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. A person carries out this process by applying his or her leadership attributes, belief, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills. Although your position as a manager, supervisor, lead, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this power does not make you a leader. Leadership makes people want to achieve high goals and objectives, while, on the other hand, bosses tell people to accomplish a task or objective.

 

 

References

Bass, B. (1989). Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and

Research. New York: Free Press.

Bennis, W. (1989). On becoming a leader, Addison Wesley, New York

Bolman, L. & Deal T. (1991). Reframing organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Hersey, P., & Blanchard, K. (1977). Management of organizational behavior: Utilizing human resources. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Horton, M., and Freire, P. (1990). We make the road by walking. Philadelphia: Temple

Kotter, J. P. (1995). Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard

Business Review. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from ProQuest Database.

Northouse, P. G. (2001). Leadership: Theory & practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage

 

Publications

Pande, P. S. (2001). The six SIGMA way team fieldbook: An Implementation

guide for process improvement teams. McGraw-Hill Companies, New York

Shaiken, H. & et.al. 2004. Crossing borders: Trade policy and transnational labor education. labor, capital and society 35(2):342-368. Retrieved March 1, 2006, from ProQuest Database.

Shaiken, H. 2001. The new global economy: Trade and production under NAFTA. Journal Fur Entwicklungspolitik, XVII/3(4): 241-54.

 

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