River Woods Case

Question What do you feel are the causes for the challenges you are experiencing. What personal and positional power weaknesses/strengths do you bring to this situation?
There are many factors that are leading to the challenges I am experiencing. Some of these factors have to do with my personal leadership style while others are closely related to my legitimacy. My age does not give me the same legitimacy or dominant personal leadership style as the CEO and this could be contributing to the challenges which the firm is experiencing. There is a direct correlation between the absenteeism and my legitimacy as a leader. Furthermore, all employees must buy into the vision which is driving the company and this will help me establish legitimacy and lay the foundation for a horizontal powerbase. Once a horizontal powerbase is established, the employees will feel more inclined to work as a team and less inclined to go directly to the CEO, as would occur in a vertical power base. In order to assist in establishing a horizontal structure as quickly as possible, I plan to be a flexible and visible as I can, while setting clear expectations that all employees buy into and feel empowered by.
2. What will you do differently at your next weekly managers meeting to begin to turn this situation around?
In terms of weekly meetings, each employee needs to understand their role and what’s expected and single person has all of determinants or information. Clear communication channels will be established which include my office as the first stop for any new ideas or if employees are having problems. I plan to become more relevant to my employees by increasing the amount on which I rely on the concept of centrality or in other words, my network. As part of this strategy, I will be ad I will encourage my employees to display certificates for courses they completed and I will begin to show them my close relationship with the CEO to establish trustworthiness by demonstrating that I am indeed, close to the powerbase. This should help ease the problems and drive productivity up as everyone will feel more confident.
3. What influencing techniques might be most effective in getting your management team on board with you?
The short answer is that the key to getting my management team on board with me is trickle up leadership and in order to “lead up”, it is time for me to speak up. My team needs to be refocused and the artificial constraints and excuses for the rise in customer complaints needs to be ended by renewing their dedication to the specialized role that them and their units play in this special company. I must act assertively to neutralize those individuals in my company who are having a toxic effect by being late or having attendance issues. This is an opportunity for employees to have input and take the lead in solving the issues and I will certainly be open and encouraging of any viable solutions they may have. I will confront the issue that I am being circumvented and issues and ideas are going straight to the CEO and ask for this behaviour to stop while ensuring that no manipulative bargaining techniques are used.
If these tactics fail, I will have speak to the CEO about the situation, and I will have “fight fire with fire” to end the manipulative and retributive behaviour going on in the unit as this is in the best interest of the company but I would prefer to avoid this by providing a flexible leadership style, a dynamic environment where good ideas are embraced regardless of who brings them to the table and a collaborative, respectful team that is increasing productivity not decreasing it. Only time will tell, how difficult my task ahead is but I have a vision and hope for the future. Above all, I believe in the people that work for me and that we can overcome this adversity and these challenges.
Mauk, Mulder and Ad Stemerding,Threat. Attraction to Group, and Need for Strong Leadership: A Laboratory Experiment in a Natural Setting Human Relations November 1963 16: 317-334