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Team Two Project Page


Team Members

  • Carrie Wright
  • Steve Digrazia
  • Greg Willmarth
  • Darryl Toney
  • Jennifer Oakes


Team Two Project


1. Read the following scenario and record your decision as a comment to the group blog. After everyone has posted their thoughts, post your group conclusion with substantiating information in the group wiki, see below.


a. Scenario: You are a senior sales manager who has just completed training a regional sales representative. Your company is ready to launch a new product that would not only benefit one of your key customers, but it would also be lucrative for your company. You have been on several customer calls with the trainee who has handled herself well and is competent but not always confident. Knowing that your company is trying to cut costs, what should you do?

b. Action: There is no “right” answer to the above question. Your assignment is simply to decide what is best given the brief scenario and base that decision on information you find on the web, via blogs, social networking, etc. You must include the url or information with source that substantiates your decision. Here are a few websites to begin your search. http://www.12manage.com/methods_blanchard_situational_leadership.html


c. A blog has been established for your use. Each member of the team needs to make at least one blog entry discussing which answer they feel is best and why.

d. Whether or not you come to a group agreement, post your conclusion with substantiating information in the group wiki.


2. Close: Please take 5-10 minutes to discuss the Plus/Delta of this assignment.


Team One


Team One: Please post your conclusion here.


Elmer's conclusion about the assignment:

Using the Blanchard and Hersey leadership model, let's assume that the leadership style is S3 and the follower development level is D3. Because my company is trying to cut costs, I would assign the trainee the new product launch. My company would be saving money because the trainee's commission and salary is less than that of a senior sales rep.


From working with the trainee I can see that they are competent to do the job but lack confidence. To ensure success, I would boost the trainee's confidence by providing strategic sales advice and by providing constructive feedback during the trainee's dealings with the customer. Also, I would also support the trainee by attending key meetings with the key customer. The trainee would design their own strategy and make final decisions.






Elmer's Plus/Delta of this assignment:

Providing the two links helped because I did not have time to do much searching. The scenario's problem seemed to be whether or not the company wanted to save money by using a trainee, and how to support them. I'm not sure if this is what the scenario was asking. Posting my conclusion to the blog was simple, but how to collaborate with a team member was not readily apparent so we did not collaborate. Posting my conclusion to this wiki is a good idea because there is some sharing of thoughts with the other team members.


Team Three


Paula's Conclusion

Because the sales rep is competent and lacks only her confidence, Situational Leadership theory indicates the sales rep requires the support and necessary tools to improve her level of confidence.

Paula's Plus/Delta

The good thing was that the situation was non-technical. Situational Leadership is a "time worn" war veteran in the plethora of leadership theory and provided a framework for the scenario. I had taken a wrong turn initially thinking we were suppose to apply and use the Web 2.0 tools in our suggestions and conclusion.

I would have liked specific information about "why" our sales rep lacked confidence. I am sure the Sr. Sales Mgr. would have known specifically what created the lack of confidence. Knowing that, we could have been a little more creative perhaps. I missed the collaboration. It felt like I was working in a vacuum.


Jaime's Conclusion:


My initial response to this scenario was of the opinion that it was pretty cut-and-dry and that the new employee was a D3 - High Competence, Variable Commitment, that the leadership style that best suited her was that of an S3 - Participating / Supporting and that she was capable of doing the job, just needed the support to do so. I based this on the resources made available by Team 2 and through a Google search found a few sites that supported this. Among these was a textbook, Supervision by Gemmy Allen, that offered a chapter on Leading. Here it stated that for someone in this point in their development based on the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership theory, that with this behavior, "the leader and followers share decision making and no longer need or expect the relationship to be directive." So the sales manager should involve the sales representative in the decision, get the trainee's buy-in and support through ownership and help guide the sales representative on to D4 - High Competence, High Commitment. Not a bad answer and looking back, I thought that my college Psych 101 teacher would be happy with that response.


But while writing up my response on Sunday, I hit Google again to see what other resources I could find. Great to find supporting documents, bad for my solution and understanding. I stumbled across a blog entry on 24 Fighting Chickens titled Using Situational Leadership to Teach Karate. Here Rob Redmond offered an application of Situational Leadership that my other readings just hadn't. I read his entry and figured I would sleep on it and post on Monday. I read it again and knew that when it came to Situational Leadership, I was falsely Conscious Competent before and really should have considered myself Conscious Incompetent on the subject. "Does reading this change my answer?" was the question I kept asking myself throughout the day. The answer is not entirely, but what it gives me is a better perspective of where both the sales manager and the sales representative are in this model. Here we have a person who, in a new job, has gone from Unconscious Incompetence (D1) when they started to having just completed their Conscious Incompetence (D2) behavior to demonstrating that they are Conscious Competent (D3) about their work. But the sales manager has also gone through these phases with the sales representative and has moved from Directing to Coaching to Supporting. This is a lot of transition for them as well. Hopefully the sales manager can adapt their leadership style quickly to offer the sales representative the support she needs while tasking her with sales of the new product. As far as financial concerns, I would guess that the sales representative makes less than the sales manager and with the right application of leadership, will save the company money through delegation, support and empowerment.


Jaime's Plus/Delta:


This project, like all three, makes use of using Web 2.0 applications for the research aspect, but doesn't require a lot of understanding of the technologies. The resources I found, or was initially directed to, utilized both blogs and wikis, but my best sources or guidance to these was through a simple Google search. If I had more time, I would have liked to explored the use of social bookmarking or even profile searches to locate people with more insight on the subject. As a whole, the projects did not necessitate the collaborative aspect to be completed.

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