Sam is a very experienced manager who just accepted a new position running a customer support call center for a medical supplies manufacturer. Sam has managed organizations ranging in size from several people to several hundred people. His style of leadership has always been one of command and control: he tended to dole out tasks to his team and micro-manage the execution of the tasks until the work was complete. Monica, the manager that Sam replaced, was recently promoted to vice president and is now Sam’s boss. Monica’s style of leadership was more about inspiring the team through direction setting, joint planning with the team, empowering the team to deliver, and coaching through the execution.
Sam had been on the job about four weeks when the defections started. Those team members who were used to Monica’s inspirational style of leadership were now subject to Sam’s command and control style. While some of the team just sucked it up and stayed in the organization, the drop in productivity was dramatic. Several of the team members approached Monica about Sam’s leadership style. Monica decided to take action.
Monica scheduled a meeting with Sam to discuss the drop in productivity and some of the reasons for the drop. Sam clearly held to a view that the productivity drop was due to the change in leadership and that things would get better as the team got more used to him. Though Monica was skeptical, she agreed to let Sam try to work things out. Two months went by; productivity was still down and the attrition rate was higher than ever. Monica approached Sam about the continued drop in productivity. Sam in so many words told Monica that he knew how to manage teams and let him do his thing. Monica had seen enough and decided to replace Sam. His inability to inspire the team and his command and control method of leadership ultimately resulted in his removal.
How could Sam have inspired his team? Find out in Why Don't They Follow Me?
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