George Latour, CEO of Retronics, is failing to grow the company and facing problem with his most favorite staff, Shelley Stern. Who is at fault and what happened?
Alternatives & Recommendation:
• Company Growth: George should take responsibility for the terrible conditions the company is suffering. Apparently, George’s experience does not help him too much to reverse the conditions. The company needs either a new CEO or professional advice.
• Direction Setting vs. Micromanaging: A manager should know when to set goals and when to let staff do things in their ways. In this case, neither George succeeds in setting appropriate goals for Shelly nor Shelly shows responsible and reliable enough for George to let go of her. Both of them need to develop manage/execute skills. Besides, George can try to reward Shelley for putting her in charge of a more complete project.
• Staff Self-Observation: Self satisfaction leads Shelly to over-estimate herself. The reason Shelly asks for credit is that George is from engineering rather than business. However, she ignores the truth that in business world, experience might work much better than background and moreover, her ego helps nothing on her awareness of this issue. Indeed, Shelly shows her skills being a solid project manager producing good marketing collateral. Though she was also found many of her decisions a bit off target. Furthermore, she takes in charge of the press release which was found several typos on the very final version. Those examples reveal how insufficient she is to be a decision maker. She needs to take more responsibility for her jobs.
• Communication skills: Communication between co-workers is very important. Bad communication could be detrimental to a company. In this case, George could have made clear of Shelley’s problem earlier since he had found her disengagement. For Shelley, she could also have told George what she thinks of her role. Nevertheless, both of them fail to communicate with each other and that results in the conflict.
In this case, I do not see George is micromanaging since Shelley’s performances are far behind her boss’ expectations and I find both George and Shelley are acting inadequate on their roles. For George, he needs to learn to well-manage the company and trust his staff; for Shelley, she should learn to be humble, know her insufficiency and take responsibility for her current job functions; for both of them, they need to try to communicate with each other more effectively. Only in such situation, will they make a significant contribution to the company and, moreover, to themselves.