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As I have read the case, Robyn Gilcrist has to start work on May 4 under the direction and supervision of Olaf Gunerson, founder and former owner of Yellowtail, over the next 12 months. But due to the unexpected death of Mr. Gunerson, Robyn will be taking control of Company on April 14 instead of May 4 as was planned before. Due to this sudden change Ms. Robyn will face very tough challenges as a president of Yellowtail Marine, Inc. Robyn arrived to her first day of work at 8:15 a.m. and found an in-basket full of awaiting memos on Mr. Gunerson’s desk. The in-basket memos contained staffing issues, production problems, meetings, and important deadlines. Not only that, she also had to deal with what Gunerson had left, whatever had come up since, and the tasks he had given her.
In addition, Mr. Boswell has asked her to meet a potential client in Miami, fly back to San Diego to attend Mr. Gunerson’s funeral, and provide him her strategy plan for Yellowtail before the funeral so she can have plenty of time to be prepared for the upcoming board meeting. Note: she previously reviewed Yellowtail’s 1975 financial statements with Mr. Boswell, this will be helpful to her strategic plan. It is considered to be a tough challenge on Robyn due to the time limitation she has (challenge). The first thing I noticed in Robyn that she decided to be specific and write the letters she needed to write, and make notes to herself and others as necessary. Also, she liked to plan every action and clarify its purpose (GM’s characteristic). How to deal with this messy challenges?
By use of delegation, the tasks needed to be accomplished can be under control. One characteristic of a general manager is the knowledge of how to delegate and use employees to their fullest potential. This will help overcoming Ms. Robyn’s problems and will generate a feeling of respect among Yellowtail Marine employees. (GM’s characteristic). Also, it is important to know what level of urgency the tasks are, so she should give the most urgent/important issues her immediate attention.
Note to self: The CEO is usually the President, who is hired by the board of directors. The President hires the general manager. A General Manager is responsible for higher level planning than a manager. A General Manager is often responsible for the overall strategic planning and direction of the company or organization and leaves the day-to-day management of the various functions to the managers.