Case Analysis – Wolfgang Keller (A)Within teams, diversity of demographics and difference of personal styles often are sources of conflicts.1In Wolfgang’s case, the conflicts that reside between Keller and Brodsky are due to their differences in ages and in management styles, as well as their perceptions over each other. Keller sees Brodsky as incompetent in directing sales and Brodsky thinks Keller is intrusive in other departments’ activities. The first time I read the case, before I was introduced to the concept of perception and performance management, I thought firing Brodsky was the right choice. Brodsky appeared to be lacking and passive at work, he didn’t fit in with the team, and he was incapable of doing his job. Now, with all the concepts I have learned, I re-evaluated each choice and decided that firing Brodsky or splitting Brodsky’s department would only address the short-term conflicts between Keller and Brodsky. In order to properly solve the issue, Keller should coach Brodsky and help himto improve his performance. The first option of firing Brodsky sounds like an easy outlet. However, this option ignores the fact that Keller is also responsible for the current situation with Brodsky. In the case, Keller exhibited tremendous strengths as a strategic planner, a hands-on manager, a go-getter, and a fast track A player. He also exhibited weaknesses such as poor interpersonal and leadership skills. Keller’s lack of emotional intelligence, which according to the article “What Makes a Leader” by Daniel Goleman, is the sine qua non of leadership. “Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”2This speaks the truth of Wolfgang Keller. This article introduced five components of emotional intelligence at work: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
With limited information provided within the case, I think Keller needs improvements in self-awareness, motivation, and empathy.Self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs and drives, as well as their effects on the others.2Keller is well aware of his own strengths and drives, but from his response to his performance review by Haussler, Keller didn’t seem to acknowledge his weakness in teamwork. Another piece of evidence is the new organization chart that represented how his team perceived him. The fact that he proudly hung it in his office showed his ignorance on how his emotion and behavior might have affected his team members. If Keller was aware of his impatience when dealing with problems, he should have set up progressive timelines when Brodsky was performing his first task in redesigning the sales force organization. In this way, Brodsky would be able to perform self-checking and make adjustments to his implementation plan, so that Keller
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