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“Is the Rookie Ready” by Sarah Green Essay

A manager listens, compromises, delegates appropriately, coaches and leads by example. Both Tim O’Connell and Kristen Hammersmith are referenced as Managers in HBR’s case study “Is the Rookie Ready” by Sarah Green. Although Kristen is the newly appointment Manager and by default one could argue that she is the rookie; but judging Tim’s behavior and rash decision on the Hybara project, I believe he has proven himself as the Rookie Manager.

A good manager with any leadership skills would never commit to a very tight deadline with many constraints without asking the customer a few questions and consulting with his or her project manager or team members. Tim points out that “without this revenue Driscoll may be looking at staff reductions.” Although this is a valid point, he has failed to understand that Hybara is essentially begging him for the software installation so that they don’t lose any more revenue. Tim realizes Hybara’s urgency and an opportunity for the company to gain revenue, but fails to see Hybara’s desperation which is a positive playing factor in negotiating a better delivery timeframe as well as extra revenue in expediting the project installation.

Committing to a project that takes three times as long to complete during a Christmas break knowing the staff may be out on vacation, was an impulsive irresponsible decision. This alludes to the fact that Tim failed to give Kristen and her team an opportunity to provide feedback and to feel valued and respected. Tim could have simply empowered Kristen by engaging her with his thoughts or concerns on Hybara’s request, or asked for her suggestions and input regarding the tight timeframe. Instead, Tim put the project at risk, set the project and Kristen for failure as soon as he hung up the phone with Hybara with his commitment.

Further, we can see that Tim has ineffectively dealt with his dislike to Alessandra Sandoval’s persona. Not being able to comfortably accept and work with Alessandra’s persona, has lead Alessandra to leave the company. Conflicts and tension can arise in any environment at any given point, but if the issues are not given appropriate attention and resolved in a timely fashion, things will just worsen and may result in a resignation similar to Alessandra.

As we can clearly see, Tim is not a good manager. His bad decisions and lack of sensitivity and awareness to interact effectively with employees are costing the company to lose good employees, and setting up projects for failure. Tim has certainly proven that he couldn’t establish a good trusting relationship with Alessandra, nor is he building a credible relationship with Kristen. He has successfully delegated a task to Kristen, but is not successfully managing the task’s outcome. In summary, there are a few activities Tim can engage in to change his rookie management style to an effective management style. First and foremost, establish a credible relationship with Kristen by helping her overcome insecurities she may be facing. Focus on the outcome of the project and plan out a reasonable timeframe, with Kristen and her team, for completing the project.

Next, Tim should contact Hybara on a revised installation plan as well as an additional fee for the last minute installation. Committing to be open and aware of the needs of Kristen and her team will further enhance Tim’s management skills. Tim has to ensure that Kristen and her team have the appropriate resources, including time, budget and overall support, to get the job done. Further, Tim has to create a two-way communication environment, believe in and value his team. Lastly, Tim has to provide leadership and clear direction. This recommendation will allow Tim to flourish into an experienced, effective manager.

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