Management Style Assessment Case Study
It is possible to state that Sanders is a good leader and as the manager he has a lot of strong sides. Otherwise he would not be that successful, which proves that the companies need him. It is necessary to mention that the organizations need such managers when there are no other ways out of the problems than the shock therapy. Alex Sanders is the right person to change the vector of the entire business drastically and to make all people in the company cope with the crisis (Greiner, 2008).
First of all, Alex is an initiative person, who has enough courage to be aggressive when the situation requires it. He understands clearly what steps are necessary to take in order to achieve the best results and to launch the popular product that fits the monetary resources of the company and the deadline. Second, he is open for the initiatives of the others and to the new problems the business proposes him to solve. People who are able to learn quickly and to adopt to the situation are very rare and the desire of Sanders to fill the gaps in his education is praise worthy.
It is also mentioned that Alex is a professional and talented entrepreneur. It is impossible to imagine a situation when he will not be able to find the most effective solution. He also has a good knowledge of the production in particular and the market in general that are involved in his work. One of his seniors wrote about him that when Sanders came to their company he knew almost nothing about the cosmetics industry and it took him only several weeks to understand the subject better that those employees who have been working for the company for years.
Another strong side of Alex’s character is his ability to ask hard questions. He tries to evaluate and to plan every detail in his work and is not afraid of working on the questions that were successfully ignores by the others. In addition, he does not have problems with making decisions, no matter how hard it is. Making decisions is always taking much responsibility and the way Alex does it makes him the real professional.
Those people who work under his supervision emphasize that he is extremely committed to his work. He might not have days off or simple rest if there is a challenging task that required his attention. Such trait of character is dubious, because from one point of view his examples makes the other employees work hard, but from another point of view it shows that no matter how hard they try, they are not able to keep up with their star manager. It does not mean that they were not working hard, it only means that performing above the potential is impossible to achieve.
An ability to work simultaneously at several project is also the strong side of Sanders. The employees are delighted by his multitasking skills and the fact that their manager can keep all the details of several projects in mind makes them respect him. Though, at the same time people understand that they do not have enough talent to work like Alex. Some of them accept the challenge, but the others become depressed.
Another positive issue that Sanders has as the manager is his ability to be an example of self confidence to the others. He constantly shows that there is nothing impossible if enough work is done to achieve the result. When his ideas are discussed skeptically, he does not become depressed, but shows everyone that he can make all things happen and produce the content.
The last strong issue about Sanders is that he is actually perceived as a hero. He is considered to be generous, relentless, creative and curious person with the extraordinary high level of intellect.
Despite numerous strong sides as the manager, Alex has many weaknesses, which makes him one of the most unpopular leaders in the country. His behavior often gives the reasons for hostility. He is not a team player and when he decides something on his own, his team feels frustrated. Delegating ideas to his employees is obviously not his string side. Alex thinks that if he knows something, that it is evident for the others, and if he can achieve the particular results, the others also can do it. The only reason why they fail is their laziness, according to the understanding of Sanders. There is no need to say that all employees are adult people who are humiliated by such attitude to them.
Diplomacy is also his weakness. Alex is an honest person and sometimes his honesty seems to be an insult, because he can not assess his co-workers in the mild way. Maximalism is among his major traits of character and it irritates many people. He often judges people without thinking and even trying to understand the situation. Many of his co-workers think that narcissism is the main problem that prevents Alex from treating the other people with respect.
The employees who work in his team think that their manager does not have normal balance between life and work, and so his desires to make everybody work long hours are inadequate. The are also irritated by his habit not to comment upon their work, so they do not understand whether they were moving in the right direction. Lack of praise for the team members is also among his negative traits.
People emphasize that Alex is a difficult person to deal with. He is arrogant and controls every minor detail, explaining every step to people who are supposed to know it already. His bad temper and total inflexibility in interpersonal relations are the the major weaknesses of Sanders.
As it was mentioned earlier, Alex has a bad temper and his shock therapy methods are not appropriate in the peaceful times. Both his strengths and weaknesses influence his communication style and will certainly the team members from France, England, Germany, and Japan.
It is possible to assume that Alex will be the perfect manager for people from Japan. His commitment to work, the priority of the project over his personal life and absence of sentiments is very similar to the cultural assumptions of the Japanese people. Though, the inability of Sanders to work in the team makes him not that ideal to the Japanese people, who are used to be collectivists (Alston, 2005).
Such individualism will be welcomed by the team members from Germany, who value this characteristic. If the person does his work better alone, there is no practical need to make him share the responsibility with the others. In addition, the desire of Alex to pan and to control every minor detail of the project is very natural for the German mentality (Guffrey, 2015). The hight level of responsibility will be the positive issue both for the Japanese and the German employees. Though, both of them might feel uncomfortable because of the quick manner of making decisions. These two cultures value preserving traditions and it is challenging for them to introduce something new and not thoroughly planned. However, such cooperation might be positive for all sides. Alex will become more reserved and the Japanese and the German workers will learn to be more risky (Kavalchuk, n.d.).
The English team members might have difficulties in communication with Sanders. His strong sides of the character like being a professional and effective manager might become secondary because of his arrogant behavior. Being polite and respecting of the other people are the main issues that need to be taken into consideration during the work with the English colleagues (Hooker, 2008). Alex might be perceived as a rude person who does not know how to behave himself in the society, which is the most elementary and basic thing. As the result, a person who can not cope with his manners, can not be a professional of the high class.
The team members from France might also have problems in communication with Sanders and those problems will not be because of his arrogance and inappropriate behavior. Though, this aspect is quite difficult to predict, because rude and impolite people are not welcomed in all countries of the world. In the case of the French workers, the desire of Alex to control everything might lead to conflicts. Their business code is quite liberal and it obviously does not correspond to leadership habits of Sanders (Palmer, 2006).
Sander has been tasked with the reformulation of a cosmetic product that has been primarily sold in Western Europe. It was the skin care product from the Avant-Garde, that will be called Nourish in America. The product targets the audience of women from 20 to 30 years old, who are having an active life style. The reformulation of the product is mainly the question of promotion and popularizing the new product in all possible mass media.
Alex was trying to change the way the company worked strategically. Such initiative was not welcomed by the head of the company and it was explained by the fact that Sanders was the youngest from all product managers who worked for the company and why should the company listen to his ideas. Sanders obviously lacks experience and the head of the company tells im to prove everyone that his decisions are trustworthy. The introduction of the Nourish skin care in the United States will become an exam for Alex as the manager.
The main problem that might arise is that the domestic cosmetic market of the United States is full of such products for skin care. Their brands are well known to the majority of women from their youngest years and it is not easy to make them buy the unknown European brand. It is also possible to assume that the new brand will cost much comparing to the domestic analogues for several reasons. The first reason is the import price of Nourish. The second issue is that the popularizing of the product needs serious investments and promotion in the mass media, which makes the price of the product even higher. In the end, trying to make the unknown brand popular is the lottery, where the chances for the victory are minimal.
Would I work for Sanders?
It is difficult to state whether I would like to work with Sanders or not. He is obviously a good professional who knows how to get the greatest profit from the production. He does not fear to take the responsibility for his decisions and is very initiative. The combination of his high abilities to work and quick decision making makes him the example of the highly effective manager. Alex often uses his emotionality and temper as the means of motivating the employees to work better and from the point of view of the board of directors he is a treasure, because he is able to make even the most passive group become more enthusiastic.
However, working with him in one team where Alex will be the team leader is not that optimistic. He is really hard working and professional, but his energy and commitment might make the other members of the team feel depressed. For example, I obviously appreciate the fact that someone can cope with the task by him/herself in a few minutes, when I have to spend several hours thinking about the problem and solving it. Though, I do not feel that it will be comfortable for me to work with such person in one team. Alex is not a team player, and sharing the responsibilities among several people will lead to the result when the best worker will think about the others as about idiots, and the others will see only arrogant attitude to them from the side of that best worker. In addition, Alex Sanders can not be characterized as the supportive person and in case when someone in the group will have problems with the task and will ask for help, the chances of being humiliated by the manager like Sanders increase by several times.
It is possible to assume that Alex will be an efficient leader, that will work for the result, but the psychological atmosphere in the team will be not normally tense. He obviously can not work with the others and I think that it will be difficult for me to cope with every day stress that I will receive at work. It might lead to the general distress and will make me nervous, because I do not like when people treat me as someone who is worth for nothing. As it is seen from the description of Alex in the case study, he is quite narcissistic and had a harsh temper and communication style. These issues make it possible to assume that my contributions to the work of the team will not be appreciated no matter how hard I will try cope with the task.
It is mentioned in the 360 degree information that he spends all his time working or going to work. That is why he thinks that all employees have to feel the same about their current project. The problem is that I do not think that my work is the only thing that I need to do in my life. I still want to have free time, to relax with friends and family, to have a hobby. I do not think that leaving to work long hours is the obligatory component of work and if the schedule of the organization is properly planned there should not be such need as working long hours before the deadline. There should be always a healthy balance between the rest and the work. In addition, as the leader Sanders will not even praise those employees who work long hours, because for him the absence of negative remarks is actually the praise.
Alston, J. (2005). Japanese Business Culture and Practices: A Guide to Twenty-first Century Japanese Business. iUniverse.
Greiner, L., Collins, E. (2008). A Day in the Life of Alex Sander: Driving in the Fast Lane at Landon Care Products. Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA.
Guffrey, M., Loey, D. (2015). Essentials of Business Communication. Cengage Learning.
Hooker, J. (2008). Cultural Differences in Business Communication. Carnegie Mellon University.
Kavalchuk, A. (n.d.). Cross-Cultural Management: How to Do Business with Germans. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbei.
Palmer, J. et al. (2006). Intercultural and International Business Communications: Theory, Research and Teaching. Peter Lang.