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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: CASES FOR ANALYSIS: A NICE MANAGER

CASE SUMMARY
Chisum Industries' is a successful company with offices, plants and warehouses located in
seven Texas cities. Their promotion process was a bench mark for providing lateral moves
and also promotion within the company. The opportunities were substantial for middle
management employees in recognizing their goals, strengths,weakness and accomplishments.
A team were selected to conduct on job the obsevation and communiction with the fellow
workers before final interviews. As a result, In March 2011 four middle management
candidates was identified for promotion to the top position. The top management involved in
scanning the performance of each middle managers was Marcus Chisum, Karl Jacobson,
Mitch Ivey, Wayne Hughes and Barbara Kennedy.
They had found that Harry Creighton has favourable feedback from the employees as a nice
manager.However the top management team might consider the characteristic of being nice
as Harrys blind spot which could lead him to make poor decision. All the top management
agree that Harry has a good personality and has lot of potential but he has not reached the
level to shoulder the responsibility of top management.

Question 1:
What does nice mean to you? Do you think nice is a good trait for leaders or the kiss of
death?
A nice person means that someone who often would not hesitant to assist someone who needs
help or assistance. A nice person/ leader will simply make it a habit not to discriminate when
it comes to being nice to others. It important to become skilled in the art of being nice being
nice must become a habit something that is second nature .Small gestures and random
acts of kindness can have an enormous impact on others around. Being nice doesnt being
soft and weak but it is being kind and showing empathy to those in need. The energy of
consistently being nice to others will return benefits many times over. It is crucial for leaders

to show concern and care towards their subordinates and try to assist them in solving any
work related issues.

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Leaders want to keep their team motivated towards the continued success of the company,
and to keep the energy levels up. If the team is feeling happy and upbeat, chances are they
wont mind staying that extra hour to finish a report, or devoting their best work to the brand.
Training members and creating a productive work environment all depend on healthy lines of
communication. The team will learn to trust and depend on the leader, and will be less
hesitant to work harder.
Morale is linked to productivity, and its the job as the team leader to instil a positive energy.
Thats where a sense of empathy will finally pay off. Leaders should encourage team to laugh
at the mistakes instead of crying. If leaders are constantly learning to find the humour in the
struggles, the work environment will become a happy and healthy space, where employees
look forward to working in, rather than dreading it. When leading a team through uncharted
waters, there is no roadmap on what to do. Everything is uncertain, and the higher the risk,
the higher the pressure. That is where leaders natural intuition has to kick in. Guiding their
team through the process of the day-to-day tasks can be honed down to a science. But when
something unexpected occurs, or the team is thrown into a new scenario, they need the leader
for guidance.
Not all human beings are the same. A basic concept, but something that is often overlooked.
There are cultural perspectives, language barriers, different educational backgrounds,
personality traits and varying value systems with which individuals come pre-conditioned
that greatly affects how information is processed and interpreted. Some people work well
under pressure, others dont. Some respond best to tough love, others take it personally and
shut down. In order to optimize effectiveness as a leader, leaders must have the ability to
customize their approach on a person by person basis, based on the situation at hand. Their
capacity to execute this concept will play a huge role in their ability to get the best work out
of their team and other partners along the journey. Every time a leader embraces graciousness
and respect, they throw off a positive energy wave that rolls out endlessly in all directions.

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Question 2:
Is nice related to any concept in the chapter, such as one of the big five personality
dimensions, Myers-Briggs components, or left-right brain dominance? Discuss.
Today, many researchers believe that they are five core personality traits. Evidence of this
theory has been growing over the past 50 years, beginning with the research of D. W. Fiske
(1949) and later expanded upon by other researchers including Norman (1967), Smith (1967),
Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987). The "big five" are broad categories of
personality traits. While there is a significant body of literature supporting this five-factor
model of personality, researchers don't always agree on the exact labels for each dimension.
However, these five categories are usually described as follows through the meeting to
consider which of four middle management candidates to promote to top position in San
Antonio office.
1. Extroversion:
Extroversion is characterized by excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and high
amounts of emotional expressiveness. People who are high in extroversion are outgoing and
tend to gain energy in social situations. People who are low in extroversion (or introverted)
tend to be more reserved and have to expend energy in social settings.
In this case, Harry Creigthon was selected as a candidate for promotion because he has a
great relationship with employees and it was obvious that he has develop a level of trust and a
vision that workers buy into.
2. Agreeableness:
This personality dimension includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection and
other prosocial behaviors. People who are high in agreeableness tend to be more cooperative
while those low in this trait tend to be more competitive and even manipulative.
In this case, the top management is mentioned that Harry has always willing to and always
willing to step in and help out and he is a great guy. He also came in and calmed employee
fears and done a good job of raising performance levels.
3. Conscientiousness:
Standard features of this dimension include high levels of thoughtfulness, with good impulse
control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high on conscientiousness tend to be organized
and mindful of details.
In this case, top management mentioned that Harry is the responsibilities person and capable
to be a manager and several people mentioned that Harry covers their back. If the people
giving the slack or problem, alittle sloppiness with deadlines or taking time off, Harry can
cover it.

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4. Neuroticism (Emotional stability):


Neuroticism is a trait characterized by sadness, moodiness and emotional instability.
Individuals who are high in this trait tend to experience mood swings, anxiety, moodiness,
irritability and sadness. Those low in this trait tend to be more stable and emotionally
resilient.
In this case, the top management wondering how manager achieve an across the board
reputation as a nice guy. However Harry has a lot of potential and consider to help him reach
that potential for the future top management.
5. Openness to experience
This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and those high in this trait
also tend to have a broad range of interests. People who are high in this trait tend to be more
adventurous and creative. People low in this trait are often much more traditional and may
struggle with abstract thinking.
In this case, the top management decribed that Harry have the capability to walk that fine line
that separates leaders,that distinguishes respect versus porpularity or encouragement and
support over stepping in and helping out.

MyersBriggs Type Indicator (MBTI) measures how individuals differ in gathering and
evaluating information for solving problems and making decisions. The MBTI instrument
uses four different pairs of attributes to classify people in 1 of 16 different personality types:
a) Introversion versus extroversion
b) Sensing versus intuition
c) Thinking versus feeling
d) Judging versus perceiving
The various combinations of these preferences result in 16 unique types. Harry could use this
model as an assesment to recognize his true preferences. Individuals develop unique strengths
and weaknesses as a result of their preferences for introversion versus extroversion, sensing
versus intuition, thinking versus feeling, and judging versus perceiving. Perhaps being nice
could be Harrys strength in communicating and influencing his employees.
Based on the limited research, the two preferences that seem to be most strongly associated
with successful leadership are thinking and judging. However, this doesnt mean that people
with other preferences cannot be effective leaders.
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Question 3:
If Harry is passed over for promotion, what feedback and advice would you give him
about how to improve his leadership skills for possible future promotion?
Maybe Harry is adopting Affiliate leadership style which says People come first and
embraces empathy, creating healthy bond and people harmony. This leadership can be
unhealthy in certain situation. Being nice could be Harrys attitude or personal trait which
Harry does not realize it as a weakness or problem. This is the blind spots characteristics or
habits that people dont recognize as problems but limit their effectiveness and hinder their
career success.
The issue of blind spot and self-awareness must be feedback to Harry in order for him to
overcome and improve his leadership style. He should teach his sub ordinate to fish instead
of catching the fish for them.
For a start, he can use the Big Five Personality Dimensions which describe an individuals
extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to
experience. This model could him to access his level of degree in each continuum, hence able
to explore his weakness and strength.

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It seems the researchers found considerable evidence that people who score high on the
dimensions of extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability are
more successful leaders. Results for openness to experience were less consistent.
Harry needs to understand the top management goal or requirement to be in the high position.
Harry might have the trait such as influence, intention, followers, responsibilities and purpose
but he is not managing effectively. Harry can improve his leadership skill by attending
leadership course. This type of course should able to help him to become effective leader. He
can also blend in coaching style of leadership to develop his sub ordinates performance or
skill. This way will help to teach his sub ordinate to fish instead of catching the fish for
them. Further he can seek help from his superior to be his mentor and provide on-going
feedback for Harry to improve his leadership skill.

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ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGNS INTERNATIONAL (EDI)

CASE SUMMARY
This case is about Lee Keiko who currently working at Environmental Designs International
(EDI) a rapidly growing green company which specialized in retrofitting commercial
buildings to improve their energy efficiency.
Her boss Barry Carver was angry on the delay of submitting a proposal to retrofit a 60 story
Chicago skyscraper to meet new federal green standards. Carver blamed to Keiko for not
meeting the dateline even though Keiko had warned him the possible delay might be due to
changing federal regulations for energy efficiency. She had even consulted with client to alert
them of the possible delay and they have already agreed for an extended deadline.
Carvers has a poor communication style. His ignorance style triggers problem and hampers
his ability to get results. Even his long time peers were avoiding Carvers by limiting
communications with him and finding ways to work around him.
Carver reconsidered on flaws of his communication skills with his subordinates and peers. He
garnered that he could get better result by communicating with more empathy, by instilling
consensus and working in a more team oriented manner. He needs to identify ways how to
manage his anger, attitude of often being snippy and frustrated while dealing large
constructions project which involve many parties and agencies.
Question 1
At the senior management level, you get hired for competence. You get fired for
personality. In your opinion, is this statement true or false? How does it relate to Barry
Carver and his current leadership style?
Yes, the statement is true. Often there are leaders who are competent but have some fatal
flaws that derail him or her from achieving greatness. These flaws are the leaders strengths
that have been over used. Most of these leaders who are confident, but when the leaders
confidence crosses a certain limit, it becomes arrogance. This derailer is a performance risk
that interferes with a leaders ability to build relationships with others and create good
cohesive teams. These derailers will show up when a leader is not actively managing his
public image. The common occasions when a derailer shows up could be while multi-tasking
or in situations of high stress or change, or when a person is overworked and lets down his
guard. That is because a derailer will show up whenever they are not actively managing their
public image.
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At leadership levels, there is less time to take decisions. They have to respond to complex and
ambiguous scenarios. So their personality comes through all the time. Their actions have a
strong impact on the culture of the organisation. Behaviours such as arrogance, emotional
outbursts, lack of decisiveness, stubbornness, poor interpersonal skills, inflexibility are the
reasons why their last senior-level hires did not work out. It is clear the hiring process which
focuses on finding talent with the desired work experience and technical competence. In fact,
most companies are incredibly efficient at finding intelligent people who had a proven record
of successful performance. These candidates were the best of the best, leaders in their field,
and yet, over half failed miserably.
It is clear the organization underestimated how each of the candidates personalities fit the job
and the organizational culture. They make the all too common assumption if the candidate
was successful at Company A and met the competency requirements, he or she will surely be
successful in our company. Like many other organizations, they failed to understand what is
happening under the surface beyond the polished interview, impeccable resume, and solid
performance record.
Barry Carver is a highly skilled architect; however he is often very offensive in
communicating with his subordinates and peers. He insisted for competence from them but
ignores their effort and time spends to achieve desired results. When his subordinates
occasionally fail to fulfil his work demands, he insults them and accuses them bluntly with
very belligerent statements. This causes his subordinates to be intimidated and this tampers
their ability to produce anticipated results. Carvers relationships with his subordinates and
peers were suffering and the complaints on his harsh attitudes were increasing. This negative
attitude which might induce increased turnover among his subordinates, thus impact the
companys performance. Eventually, Carver will have to take the liability and might be fired
due to incapacity to manage subordinates professionally. Besides the capability of achieving
desired results, leaders must also possess positive attitude, empathy and aiding tendency
when dealing with their subordinates and colleagues.

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Question 2
Identify the behaviours described in this case that were damaging to Barry Carvers
work relationships. Why would a manager behave this way? What negative
consequences did these behaviours have on his peers and subordinates?
1. Poor Communication
This category includes those managers who fail to provide feedback on staff performance
including praise and constructive criticism, that discipline subordinates openly, or who are
unable to effectively communicate task requirements or who falsely assume that subordinates
understand their requirements. It also includes managers who do not know how to
communicate the importance of good process in the organization to optimal functioning, and
managers who do not know how to listen to their people. Carver was clearly exhibited poor
communication skills where he is inefficient in people- skills. In an ideal working
environment, every leader would be an effective communicator. It should be a leadership
requirement, but oftentimes leaders delegate their communication responsibilities for others
to handle. Leadership is not about telling others what to do, but rather maximizing the full
potential of people by being intently engaged. This requires a leader who can feel
comfortable communicating seamlessly with different types and stripes of people, regardless
of hierarchy, rank or cultural influence. Beyond not practicing patience and the inability to
listen, Carver doesnt prepare himself well enough to most effectively communicate and thus
is unable to contribute at his highest levels. They take the time to embrace diversity of
thought and encourage others to be themselves. Carver must know that unless subordinates
feel comfortable with where they fit, and know how they can best contribute; the ability to
communicate well with teams is limited. Carver knows he has the ability to intimidate
others. As such, he must be extremely mindful of his subordinates to be sure not to
overpower them with his presence. Carver should communicate well enough to be heard, but
attentively to create the impact that is needed to address the issues at hand.
2. No Trust
When managers demonstrate that they do not trust their employees this often becomes a selffulfilling prophecy. Managers who fail to trust employees to do good work, or allow them the
latitude to accept increasingly more difficult tasks are a roadblock to employee growth and
good performance. This lack of confidence leads to a reluctance to delegate on behalf of
managers, which in turn may lead to employees withdrawing their involvement from the
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workplace. Another symptom of this is the manager who micro manages staff and completely
disempowers them. Carver shows distrust in his subordinates where is often doubting their
judgements and decisions. Mutual bond of trust and respect acts as a the catalyst that
acceralates performances.Employees given the opportunities and importance to manage
responsibilities, will be more productive as well be obliged and commited to live up to their
managerss trust. Without trust, employees wont be honest with managers, preferring to play
office politics, leaving managers with fragmented bits of information at best. A highly
developed sense of trust in an employee-boss/leader relationship encourages loyalty from
both sides.
A manager should behave this way as communication and relationship is the most critical
factor in a team work. The failure in communication and relationships may lead to team will
not capable to complete a task or project within the timeline due to miscommunication and
fire-fighting issue.
Carvers poor communication skills can create uncertainty that leads to stress and conflict.
Poor communication, whether intended or not, can have an effect on staff morale. Persistent
intended negative communication can add stress to the workplace that makes it difficult to
develop a productive work environment. Unintentional negative communication can be
forgiven up to a point, but when it becomes habitual, it can lead to a drop in staff confidence
in the company. Employees need to be constantly motivated in their job and to perform better.
This can be done by the manager, Carver by offering assistance and guidance as well as kind
words when needed. In absence of these, his subordinates will eventually become stresses
and frustrated and might eventually start looking for another job and will also fail to give
their best work performance. Of course, new employees can replace those who left the
company, but this will also be costly for the company as they have to start the recruitment
process all over again.
Question 3
How realistic is that Carver (or anyone) can change his own leadership skills? What
kind of help he might need?
Carver (or anyone) can change his own leadership skills to acquire better results by
communicating with more concern, building consensus and working in a more team oriented
manner. Carver realizes that he had to find ways how to handle his anger and frustration
when dealing with authority bodies, and the inevitable that hampered progress on big
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construction projects. He hopes to create a better image in his company and perhaps to be
considered for Senior Management position in EDI.
To change his leadership skills Carver needs assistance and support from his subordinates and
peers. He needs to listen to his subordinates and show concern on them and their difficult
situations. His team knows the score because they are people who directly interact with
customers, suppliers, and authority bodies end to end. They actually maybe the first person
who knows what might go wrong with the construction process or proposal handling. His
peers need to support Carver the most and motivate him. By listening and maintaining a good
relationship with subordinates and peers, Carver can ensure everyone is working towards a
right path and able to meet the tight deadline.
Carver has to take the time to share his vision, mission and goals with his team. His job as a
manager is to provide a clear path that his team can follow. His team also must understand
why the goals he has set are valuable to them. He has to take the time to explain to them, in
detail, why and how his vision will not only improve the business, but how it will benefit
them in return. He has to his team in his strategic planning sessions, ask for feedback and get
them to buy into his vision for the future of the company.
To improve his leadership skills, he has to first set specific life goals with appropriate
timelines. He has to design his goals by moving backwards from the end of his life to the
present week. Then, formulate action plans that he can commit to that will get him to where
he wants to be.
No one respects a grumpy or negative person. With a positive attitude he should be looking at
the bright side of life. People are naturally attracted to a manager when they have a positive
attitude. By being positive, he will lead a happier life, as well as be surrounded by other
positive people. He will also magically attract exciting offers and possibilities.
Having great leadership skills includes Carver being able to clearly and specifically
communicate his vision, goals, skills, intentions, and expectations to others. This also
includes his ability to listen to what other people are consciously or unconsciously
communicating. To become a great communicator, he has to continually strive to improve his
verbal, nonverbal, and listening skills.
The greatest leaders are those who include everyone in their sphere of influence by
recognizing each persons greatest value. To be one of these leaders, he has to look beyond
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the obvious and see others with insight and compassion. Many of historys greatest leaders
have admitted that they rose to the top because another leader recognized and harnessed their
potential.
No one is perfect, and everyone has made a mistake or two in their lives! The most successful
leaders know that the key to success is not in avoiding falling or failing, but to learn from
their mistakes. As a strong leader, Carver will also be able to communicate his weaknesses to
his team, so that he and his team can appoint someone who excels at that particular task or
activity.
Lastly Carver might need help from assessment center where he can learn and gain
knowledge from professional expertise on how to handle his anger and frustration. In
assessment center also he can improve communication skills which are very useful in dealing
with his subordinates, peers and other parties.

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