Name Date Course Section/# Lynn Tilton: A Case Study Question 1: Evaluate the extent to which Lynn Tilton displays good managerial qualities. When analyzing Lynn Tilton’s management style under the rubric of Table 16-2 (Lorenzo, 2004) a few prominent features of how Lynn Tilton displays her qualities of leadership become plainly visible…
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Even the Steel Workers Union member commented, “She’s just human and honest with people. I don’t say that about many CEOs.” This admission from a perceived opponent illustrates the extent to which Tilton’s genuine yet charismatic leadership is able to transcend the barriers of companies and deeply motivate and effect change from within. With respect to her vision, it is indisputable that Tilton is perhaps one of the most visionary CEOs of modern industrial America. Too many CEOs are all too eager to write a company off as a net loss as soon as it ceases to generate a profit. However, Tilton is able to see beyond the red ink of the balance ledger; in fact, she is able to see beyond the product that the firm was originally producing. In such a way, she is able to reduce the firm to its core profitable elements. As such, she does not judge the industry by its bottom line or even the demand and/or quality of its original product. Accordingly, this displays keen powers of insight which all too many CEOs do not possess. Lastly, it is one thing to take a failing industry over and work to turn a profit from it. It is entirely another to win the trust of the workers and prove to them that your sole interest in the firm is not strictly monetary; i.e. the process of winning the people. When asked by one of the firms she had recently purchased if she was going to “strip and flip” the firm, Tilton responded, “It’s only men I strip and flip. My companies I hold close and near to my heart”. Even though it was an off-hand and candid remark, this quick witted sarcasm showed a true form of vision. In this way, Tilton is able to quickly win the hearts and minds of the employees while allaying their worst fears that she is only riding their firm for a quick profit. Question 2: Which positive and negative leadership traits and styles were displayed by Tilton? As previously stated, Tilton’s powers of charisma, vision, and winning the hearts and minds of her employees is likely second to none; however, she also possesses an undeniably sharp talent of decisiveness and motivation. This is at least partially proven by her tireless work and late night efforts that she devotes to her firm on a daily basis. Conversely, there are a few negative implications regarding Tilton’s leadership traits that are referenced in the work. Not surprisingly, many of these weaknesses are born out of the extreme strengths that she possesses. For instance, a strength that Tilton possesses is her application of power and influence within the firms that she takes over. However, as she states herself, this leads to a type of “benevolent dictatorship”. As such, this has its own negative implications of a leader who accrues absolute power (also referenced in the text as “overleading”) and may lend herself to micromanaging aspects of the firm that would best be left to lower-level management. Likewise, it was a bit disconcerting reading about firms that are on the verge of bankruptcy being toured by their new CEO who is flaunting many tens of thousands of dollars in expensive clothing, cutting edge fashion, and an “8 carat diamond necklace”. In order to further gain the rapport of the firms under her leadership, it might help to tone down a bit of the gratuitous luxury with which she presents herself; especially since many of these workers are doubtless living directly on the poverty line.
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