Individual Case Analysis Assignment II: “Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK” MGT 400- Monday 6-8:45 Chelsea Glovis a. What is your assessment of Brodsky’s performance? Please be specific. In my opinion, I believe that Brodsky is one of those individuals who is so intelligent his personality and social interactions suffer. Keller and Brodsky have very different approaches to problems, in addition to being different nationalities, this creates many of the problems that they face.
Keller looks at problems and goes above and beyond to try and solve them, whereas Brodsky attacks problems with the textbook methodology (analytical) that is not always the best approach, and isn’t sure how to do anything else. For instance, half of their distributers were not attending the annual distributors’ meeting. Brodsky was already gone for the weekend and unreachable at home. Keller and his staff spent the majority of their weekend personally inviting the distributors, jumping through hoops to ensure they felt appreciated by meeting them at airports or railroad stations.
After all of their hard work, the attendance was more than doubled, which was critical for the businesses success. Lastly, Brodsky was dealing with a distributor who he had written off as bad debt of 87,000 euro. Keller was encouraging him to meet with the customer and demand the money. Brodsky resisted at first, then finally called the customer and concluded that nothing could be done. Meanwhile Keller took matters into his own hands and drove to meet with the distributor in person and was able to get a check for the whole amount.
It seems to me that Brodsky is making the least effort in regards to personal relations, while at the same time thoroughly completing the tasks he was assigned for sales and marketing purposes. Brodsky is failing to see the larger picture and taking into consideration how relationships directly affect business cohesiveness. I think that he may feel threatened by Keller seeing his recent success and feels that since he is older he knows what is best for the company, although that is clearly not the case. Seeing that Brodsky is so analytical by nature, it provided reasoning behind the way he looked at the tasks at hand.
I think that Brodsky could have made a much greater effort in resolving problems with distributors/customers, implementing his sales plan, developing a decent relationship with others, and acting as a manager not just an employee. It is crucial for employees below managers to feel comfortable discussing their thoughts and ideas, not scared and nervous. Brodsky does the least amount of work that meets minimum expectations on most areas of work and tasks that are assigned to him. For example, there was a very serious distributors lawsuit filed by one of the firm’s largest distributors that Brodsky was in charge of handling.
In dealing with this issue, Brodsky sent a sales representative to work out the problem. Only after the sales representative failed did Brodsky make an effort to personally contact the distributor. Following their discussion, Brodsky determined that the distributors position was unchangeable. Keller knew this would be a huge deficit to the company if they lost this customer and arranged to have a seat next to them on the plane to work things out. After the plane ride the distributor agreed to drop the suit completely, if Brodsky had made more of an effort initially he could have been much more successful.
While he does come up with new innovative methods for increasing sales and completing very thorough analysis, he doesn’t work within a realistic deadline. It is imperative to the success of the company to work in a timely manner so that sales can have a quick turnaround and begin to grow. Managers should be motivating to their employees to work hard and do their best, whereas Brodsky hardly communicates with his subordinates and coworkers thus diminishing any chance whatsoever for good, working relationships to be formed.
In order to grow as an individual Brodsky needs to use this constructive criticism and feedback to heart instead of arguing each critique, making excuses and blaming others. b. How effective has Keller been as a coach to Brodsky? Why? Could you have done better? Why and How? I feel the Keller has done almost everything he can think of to try and alleviate the current situation with Brodsky. I think that the two men have such differing approaches in solving problems; a lot of tension is created in the office as well as one on one.
The majority of the time, Keller takes problems into his own hands and tries to solve them, I would like to have seen him ask Brodsky to go above and beyond. Such as, arranging seats next to a distributor to discuss the lawsuit, personally invite distributors to the convention, and make a home visit to demand payment from a client. While Keller did allow Brodsky to make an effort, I feel that he could have been more successful if he provided Brodsky with ideas to solve these problems. Because Brodsky is so analytical, it is hard for him to think outside of the box.
He is so used to strictly going by the rules and regulations he thinks once he has done those methods there is nothing else he can do. Keller needs to take into consideration Brodsky’s personality, problem solving skills, and relationships with others and in the end he will realize why Brodsky is the way he is. He continues to feel like he is never good enough because of the constant negative feedback that he is given. In my opinion critical feedback should be backed with the same amount of positive feedback as to ensure employees don’t feel inadequate and not valued.
In some aspects, Keller and Brodsky share similar personality traits. It is a challenge for both of them to see others perspectives and personalities differences. They are both problem solvers; however attack their problems differently. In my opinion Keller has done all he can think of to help motivate Brodsky and for that I think he has been mostly effective. On the other hand, I wish he would understand their differences and realize why Brodsky does things the way he does. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I could do a better job; I would just approach the situation much differently.
I have a way of providing critical feedback intermixed with positive feedback, as well as a course of action to fix the problem all in the same sentence. On top of the feedback, I would also include peer feedback as well as voice the concerns that other employees have expressed. I feel it is necessary to break down the feedback and explain why it is important and beneficial to fix these problems and how it will affect the business as a whole. I feel that this would be beneficial to Brodsky so he can take these specific steps to get better and learn from his shortcomings.
Also, I would be more understanding of the way Brodsky operates as a whole and determine the best way to help him start to think outside the box to solve problems. I would also provide definite deadlines for tasks that he is assigned to in order to avoid missing deadlines, taking too long, and falling even more behind. I would give him words of advice and encouragement to make him feel appreciated and determined. Instead of immediately taking matters into my own hands as Keller did, I would allow Brodsky the opportunity to use my methods of completing tasks that were tough situations (i. . telling him to make a house call to discuss getting a payment check from a soon to be bankrupt company). Lastly, I would outline specific goals to accomplish for the next few months or until the next review to motivate him, as well as discuss company procedures that must be followed. These procedures would include mannerisms at work (open communication, proper etiquette, a minimum number of social outings that must be attended, etc. ) With clearly established rules, goals and courses of action, there is little room for him to argue his side. c.
What are the underlying causes of Brodsky’s performance problems? What actions should Keller take upon returning to Kiev? Be specific. The majority of Brodsky’s performance problems have to do with two different personalities, traits, management styles, ethnicity, and outlook. Keller is a very hands-on, action-oriented guy who takes matters into his own hands when they are not completed exactly as he would have done it. Although he is very personable and loves to share a lot of his personal life with co-workers he has a difficult time putting himself in others’ shoes.
Brodsky on the other hand is a very analytical introvert who completes tasks by the tried and true textbook approaches. He has a hard time thinking outside of the box when it comes to personal interactions and relating with others, in addition he doesn’t like to spend a lot of time bonding with co-workers and keeps the vast majority of his personal life to himself. These two completely different, night and day personalities are bound to clash and create bumps in the road that cause discrepancies.
On top of all of that, I think that Keller is so concerned with making sure Brodsky understands where he needs improvement that he forgets to provide positive feedback with a plan of action that Brodsky can follow. In addition, their differences in age and methods to solving problems are completely contradicting as well, especially when Brodsky has shared little information about the way he operates. Brodsky has a hard time taking Keller’s feedback because he doesn’t understand what he did wrong and what he was supposed to do instead.
Brodsky is very thorough and will take his time to ensure a task is completed to the best of his ability, while Keller is action oriented and wants to see fast results. Brodsky addresses co-workers in a formal demeanor with a distant management style and minimal personal life sharing, which damaged his overall management style. All in all, their overall management styles were to blame for clashing so drastically. I believe if Keller and Brodsky shared the same viewpoints on management styles and approaching tasks Brodsky’s performance report would have very high reviews.
Keller should have clearly established due dates for tasks so as to avoid problems with Brodsky taking too long to complete them, explain what business etiquette the company promotes, provide well-defined expectations, goals, and methods to accomplish, and try to see the world from a different light. He must understand that not every individual functions on the same level, manages and accomplishes tasks in the same manner, and remember how different each person is in this world.
Developing a friendlier relationship with Brodsky would make it easier for Keller to share how he feels and hopefully he will be able to provide feedback more than just during a performance review. d. What are the implications for Keller’s own development as a leader? Although Keller has had great success at such a young age thus far in his life, he still has a lot of room to grow as a leader. A great leader needs to be sympathetic with their employees and co-workers and do whatever they can to help them grow as individuals and flourish in the world of business.
He must remember that each individual is different and not everyone manages with the same style. These differences are what creates diversity in teams and allows for innovative ideas and thorough discussions. Having faith in your employees is a huge part in being a successful manager. When at first they don’t succeed, provide insight, thoughts, ideas, solutions, etc. to continue to show them how to think outside the box. Keller is so concerned with fast results and finishing tasks on his own that he doesn’t give his employees the chance to learn from his methods.
In his mind he is being the best leader he can be, meanwhile Brodsky is under the impression that he is being the best employee he can be. Both of them need to reevaluate their situations and how to work more cohesively together with such differing styles and traits. It is imperative that Keller works on giving positive as well as critical feedback, a defined set of goals and deadlines, an action plan to fix areas where his subordinates aren’t performing up to par, and provide constant feedback so his employees don’t go sixth months thinking they are doing an incredible job when in reality he thinks they are slacking.
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