Business leaders need to have the necessary skills that would help them to conduct their duties without significant hindrances. The analysis provides solutions to the challenges a business leader (Harald) faces in adjusting to the new position he acquires at the place of work. Adopting quick and efficient measures will help the leader to overcome the obstacles that deter him from conducting the business activities in a way that yields a positive outcome.
The presentation by Watkins indicates that the occurrence happened in the past and that the person in question Harald (not his real identity) had overcome the challenges he faced at the place of work. An obvious factor that tells the readers that the narration describes a past occurrence is that the Watkins (2012) starts by explaining how the leaders assume power but could not take proper charge of the duties that he encounters. The description, however, reveals that the occurrences happened in the past because as readers continue to go through the article, it becomes apparent that the employee gained the necessary skills to go about his work. Furthermore, the author uses the past tense form of narration which further indicates that the occurrence happened in the past.
Identification of Problems
The readers of the case can identify the primary problem as being Harald’s inability to handle some of the significant duties at the place of work once he assumes power as the leader. Harald starts as an assistant product manager but soon becomes a sales manager after his relocation to Hong Kong. Harald returns to Europe three years later where he assumes the position of a marketing and sales director in control of the African and European continents, and also in charge of the Middle East. Harald later attains the position of a deputy president of the marketing and sales division in the polythene sector which puts him in charge of more people. The company intentionally put him in charge of the firm’s resins department where he heads nearly 3000 workers.
Unfortunately, Harald, like many other leaders who are yet to serve in their posts for longer, has to deal with the uncertainties that come with being new in a line of duty. The transition process exposes some hardships to the leader who must transit from one point to the other through much effort. Harald is yet to learn how to perform the functions and roles of a leader that Robbins and Judge (2016) describe to encompass organizing, leading, planning, and controlling. The administrator finds it quite challenging shifting from being an overseer of a single function to that of the entire business functions. Watkins (2012) informs that during the initial two months, Harald finds it difficult to make rational judgment thus finding it difficult to handle the subjects appropriately. The leader also finds it quite challenging to shift from being an analyst to an integrator where he could efficiently manage the workers and to integrate the functional teams into a unit which makes it difficult to address the many demands. The case also indicates that Harald finds it quite difficult to shift from the point of a tactician to that of a strategist where he could handle more duties which included making decisions, pushing projects, and attending meetings. Harald’s failure to multitask denies him the opportunity to attain productivity as Otto et al. (2012) describe in their paper. The scholars argue that being able to perform many tasks as a leader may yield positive outcome if conducted without bias (Otto et al., 2012). The difficulties signal severe implications for the plastic and polythene firm that deserve urgent attention.
The difficulty Harald faces in adjusting to the managerial position makes it difficult for him to switch from being a strategist to a forecaster, and from a problem solver to an agenda setter. Watkins claims that when people assume higher positions at the place of work, they should not only focus on altering aspects that appear to be easy to change such as structure or strategy without paying attention to their consequences to the company as a whole. Harald, for example, feels that he should pay more focus on customers than on the product lines which appears natural to him. His approach, nevertheless, creates confusion in handling the sales of the products. Furthermore, switching to a higher position makes it problematic for the manager to shift from being a problem solver to an agenda setter who cannot only come up with solutions to problems but also be able to identify the issues that the firm needs to fix.
The new position makes it straining for Harald to switch from being a person who marshals the workers to overcome competition to being a leader who focuses on different aspects that requires diplomacy and also challenges him on how to move away from being a supporting cast to a lead character. Watkins (2012) mentions that becoming a leader means assuming a position where everyone else is dependent on the adopted or suggested decision. Harald realizes that upon assuming his post, many people stock around him seeking for his guidance where he has to apply diplomacy to intervene in all the issues he encounters. Watkins (2012) calls on corporate diplomats to apply the tools of diplomacy which encompass persuasion, developing alliances, conflict management, and concessions. Harald’s lack of diplomacy skills further makes it difficult for the leader to identify the workers who have the technique to handle the business requirements. Finally, Harald appears to encounter some constraints in managing the leading position as the leading cast whose opinions influence every person. The manager seems to forget that he has moved from being a supporting cast to a capacity where more people look unto their decisions.
Point of View Taken
The point of view that develops from the case is that the marketing division lacks proper leadership that would steer it out of a significant crisis. Robbins and Judge (2016) inform that leaders who do not have the necessary skills to head the corporation may not know how to handle their emotional feelings, and may not understand the how to mold an organizational behavior that would yield the required outcome. The emerging point of view is that Harald needs assistance that may help him to overcome the tribulations.
Areas of Consideration – SWOT Analysis
Herald and the entire company need to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that may make it easy or hard for the institution to deal with the emerging issues. A possible advantage that may help the manager to adjust to his new position quickly is his communication skills that are a fundamental requirement for every business leader. Hussain (2013) asserts that leaders who can communicate appropriately with people from different backgrounds have higher chances of achieving practical techniques from the conversations that may lead to insight on how to steer the corporation. The weakness that may make it difficult to address the challenges Harald faces in adjusting to the new position is the leader’s inability to handle the many tasks before him with Watkins (2012) asserting that the issues before Harald are head-spinning. The opportunity that would make it easy for Harald to handle the predicaments facing him is that the company has a system that may help employees to gain skills in some of the crucial areas. The manufacturer has put in place a system that evaluates performance and applies a 360-degree framework that allows leaders and workers to understand the effects of their actions. The apparent threat, however, is that the leader is yet to recognize the agenda that requires attention yet time is on the move.
The company is likely to experience long-term effects from solving the issues Harald faces in adjusting to his new position. The organization, for example, will gain the benefits that come with having a leader who understands how to steer the firm in the right direction. Settling on the proper methodology is likely to have long-lasting effects on the company that would gain competitive advantage. Otherwise, the institution may never get the chance to focus on its production activities when the leader hardly understands what is right or wrong.
Evaluation and Action Plan
Harald must liaise with the service providers at the company to come up with solutions to some of the hindrances that deny him the chance to adjust to the new position. The leader in his attempts to move from being a specialist to a generalist, and to a leader who understands what his job requires, need to undergo rigorous training that will equip him with the appropriate skills necessary to operate at the level. Bashir and Jehanzeb (2013) support the training of business leaders implying that the exercise provides the personnel with advanced knowledge that is necessary when serving at a higher level. Furthermore, leaders who go through adequate training acquire skills on how to create an organizational culture that fosters togetherness and equality (Hao & Yazdanifard, 2015). Other than going through vigorous training, Harald may take time to engage in personal investigations on how to improve his services. The leader may utilize resources such as the internet and publications that are some of the educative platforms. Harald should be in a position to identify the information that suits them and which may help him to strengthen the areas where he experiences hardships. The leader would be able to judge the training processes and personal investigations as being helpful when they record better performance in their actions, and inefficient when they do not show any improvement in the way they operate.
Recommendation and Case Plan
The suitable option to help Harald overcome the difficulties that make it difficult for him to adjust to the new position is to go through the training process. Bashir and Jehanzeb (2013) argue that leaders acquire a broad range of skills through the training practice which includes ways of achieving employee retention, career competencies, improving employee performance, market expansion, and organizational performance. The best way to ensure that the leader attains the required skills is to allocate some money towards facilitating the process. The body in charge of the operation should first identify a suitable learning institution that provides leadership training, and then find the appropriate times that the leader can attend lessons. The team should settle at a time when the attending the instructions will not disrupt the work’s operations and should come up with alternatives on how to conduct operations when the leader is attending the empowerment exercise.
Harald will be able to overcome the challenges he experiences at his new position by undergoing vigorous training that equips him with the fundamental skills that are necessary at his capacity. Failing to act with speed may deny the company the chance to be competitive with organizations that rely on the guidance of qualified leaders who understand what is right for the corporation. The group, however, must first identify a framework that would facilitate the transformation process.
Bashir, N., & Jehanzeb, K. (2013). Training and development program and its benefits to employee and organization: A conceptual study. European Journal of Business and Management, 5(2), 243-252.
Hao, M., & Yazdanifard, R. (2015). How effective leadership can facilitate change in organizations through improvement and innovation. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: A Administration and Management, 15(9), 1-6.
Hussain, Z. (2013). Effective communication brings successful organizational change. The Business & Management Review, 3(2), 43-50.
Otto, S., et al. (2012). Exploring the impact of multitasking in the workplace. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 3(4), 154-162.
Robbins, S., & Judge, T. (2016). Organizational behavior. London, UK: Pearson.
Watkins, M. (2012). How managers become leaders. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2012/06/how-managers-become-leaders
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