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He was late for work because he had overslept after staying up late the night before to finish the monthly production report for his department. This report was not a priority and Steve should not have…
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22 May 2007 Case History: Acme Manufacturing Company What specific things did Steve do wrong, and what should have been done in each instance?
Steve Arnold began his workday at Acme Manufacturing Company already behind. He was late for work because he had overslept after staying up late the night before to finish the monthly production report for his department. This report was not a priority and Steve should not have spent so much time on it. Being rested for his busy day ahead would make more sense.
When he arrived at work, he took time to stop and chat with a friend, which made him even later. His workday was supposed to start at 8:00 and he didn’t arrive at his office until 9:00.
From this point on, it was evident that Steve had no set schedule for his day. He had a staff meeting at 9:30 that he had forgotten, but didn’t find the memo and attached materials that he should have read previously until just before the meeting. Steve should have set up an agenda for his day and should have had a system to organize his paperwork.
Before the meeting, Steve received a call on a rush job, which he had turned over to one of his production supervisors, Lucy Adams, and put out of his mind. He tried to reach her and discovered she was out of town and difficult to reach. He asked his secretary to leave her a message to call him. He should have told his secretary to ask Lucy about the job in case he was not in the office when she called.
The rest of his day was one interruption after another—an appointment not listed, a priority job his boss had asked for that wasn’t done, being late for another meeting, missing calls from Lucy—and at 4:30, he decided to go home, wondering how he could ever get caught up.
What should Steve do to become more effective as a manager?
It is obvious Steve Arnold is a disaster waiting to happen. He is balancing on a tight rope, and any minute he’s apt to crash. He has several employees apparently capable of handling projects, but Steve has never created a preliminary schedule that would include early morning meetings with his staff to plan not only each day but also the time lines needed to complete projects by a reasonable deadline. It would also appear that his secretary, Ruth, either has not been given the option of helping Steve organize his own scheduled priorities and putting his papers in order or she is not dependable and probably should be replaced. Steve does not look ahead to determine how to prioritize his time. He also does not look at the overall picture to see how production schedules should interact. He needs to educate himself on these matters.
Steve does not appear to have much personal interaction with any of his staff nor does he schedule his time properly. He will improve greatly as a leader if he sets a preliminary schedule for his day with connections to future projects and the reminders he needs to follow up. Once he does this, he will find he has all the time he needs to complete projects and keep his affairs in order, attend the necessary meetings with materials required to contribute to the meetings, stay ahead of projects by addressing problems as soon as they appear, but most of all, letting his staff know he appreciates them and the input they give him.
The following suggestions show the basics of good leadership: Work hard and expect staff to follow; be organized; research possible obstacles ahead and discuss with staff; know your staff personally; share leadership; motivate staff and encourage innovative ideas. Read More
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