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Leading Effective Teams Case Study for Soda Can Company

See the questions on effective teams following the case study.

Chapter 13
Leading Effective Teams

Soda Can Company is opening up a new store location in sixty days. As Executive Director of Stores, you have to put together a strong team quickly.

You hired Jim Beam to be the Store Manager based on his previous experience and track record with other competitors. You have a new site to open up, and your goal is to start producing as quickly as possible. You had a slight feeling that he was a little full of himself, but you associated it with self-confidence, which you needed this new manager to have since you would not have a lot of time to invest in this location.

Julie Stevens has been one of your top production specialists for two years. You assigned her to Jim and the new store without hesitation. Her proven track record and existing knowledge of the product line would be actively used to get this new store performing within weeks.

You have also taken great steps to recruit other internal employees who have strong performance records. Two or three are new to the company and not so experienced, but their eager attitude and desire to learn and get better will serve them well in this new location.

It has been three weeks since the new store opened and early performance statistics are meeting expectations. It looks like the team is working together well. However, you have had numerous phone calls from Julie Stevens complaining about Jim Beam's management approach. Among her complaints are comments like, "He exaggerates and tries to bully staff," or "He does not understand the product line and belittles anyone who asks questions." Yet he also makes personal statements as if trying to be nice but it seems like he ends up angering people instead. Such as, "Come to my house to watch the big game. I have a brand new 50 inch high definition TV." Or, "I only shop at designer stores, don't you?" Even a few of the newer employees have made cautious attempts to ask you if Jim's style is the norm for the Soda Can Company. Questions such as, "Is it acceptable for managers yell in staff meetings?" or "Is it company policy to get defensive when asked questions?" have been coming up frequently.

You are sitting at lunch with your boss, Elizabeth Zone. She has just asked you casually about the new store opening - "How is the new location doing?" You are struggling with how you are going to approach Jim and confront him on his performance so far. You are concerned about the team overall, but you are hesitant to jump in and make changes so early. Could it be possible that Jim will settle down in a few weeks? Could this all just be pressure from the new store opening and working with a new team? Maybe they just need a few more weeks to get to know each other and find their own ways to work well? Elizabeth is waiting for your response.

1. What do you say?
2. Elizabeth has years of experience and has offered objective perspectives in the past, and she supports employee development while maintaining good performance on the job. You decide to share your concern about Jim's early leadership style with her. What do you say?
3. What are you going to track closely with the new team?
4. How might you approach Jim about the team's performance?
5. What might you say to Julie? To the new employees?

Solution Preview

1. What do you say?

I would tell Elizabeth that things are going well with the store. The store is meeting its expectations in terms of performance. Further, I am pleased with each of the employees and their drive and willingness to complete their assigned tasks. I would praise Julie and her knowledge of the product line and ability to have the store producing so rapidly. Also, I would advise her that the team seems to be working together overall as a whole.

2. Elizabeth has years of experience and has offered objective perspectives in the past, and she supports employee development while maintaining good performance on the job. You decide to share your concern about Jim's early leadership style with her. What do you say?

I would inform her of Jim's experience with the business industry and the proven track record that he has. Further, I would inform her of how well the store is coming along and meeting its expectations. I would then inform her of ...

Solution Summary

Leading effective teams case study for Soda Can Company is examined.

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