Challenge The Boss or Stand Down Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

There are many skills needed to flourish in the corporate world. However, being able to communicate effectively is the most important skill required at the workplace.

Communication is the act of transferring information whether it is done vocally, written, visually or non-verbally from one place to another or from one individual to other individual or team. Developing the communication skills can help an individual in all aspects of life, from the professional life to social gathering.

 Being able to communicate the information accurately, clearly and as intended is vital in the professional life.By achieving the goals set at corporate level and working on the communication skills, an individual can improve the quality of professional life and also the overall aspects of the life.

Franks Good and Bad Communication with Tom:

The first communication of Frank with Tom was the email that Frank sent to Tom. The email was

“Tom, this week’s client meetings went well, but they would have gone better if you had been on top of the market data,” it read. “When you’re on your own, I expect you to be better prepared. It’s essential for your new responsibilities in developing market strategies for your region.”

The first email sent to Tom by Frank has both good and bad points. Frank’s first statement about Tom has mix remarks which are unclear if Frank is praising Tom or criticizing him. The meeting has gone well but would have been better if Tom was well prepared. Frank could have said that we want even better results from you to motivate Tom. However, the second statement is about reminding Tom about the roles and responsibilities of his position, which are developing market strategies for his region.

The second interaction between Tom and Frank is when Frank enters the office of Tom and the conversation goes like

“Taking a break, Tom?

“No, Frank,” Tom replied coolly. “I was thinking through my kiosk-services development project. If we can’t get new offerings out there soon, we won’t be able to compete in this business. I know you’re not a fan of the project, but—”

“Did you read my e-mail?”

“Yes, I did.”


“And, yes, I will prepare better.”

“Good,” Frank said. “And, Tom, I need you to put your skunk works project on hold. The market-strategy meeting is nextweek, and I still haven’t seen your plan, which was due yesterday. That is your one and only priority right now. Capisce?

“Understood,” Tom said wearily.

After entering the office Frank asked a casual question but somehow it showed that Frank has something against Tom. As Tom was trying to communicate his idea about the new products Frank interrupted him and asked about the email which is a bad comment, even though the priority at the moment is the meeting but being a good listener makes you a better leader but Frank directly asked about the email in a skeptical manner which hasn’t sound right.

The third interaction of Frank with Tom was when he entered the meeting and everyone was already there and Frank began to talk by saying

“Glad you could make it, Tom,”

It is a sarcastic comment by Frank as he taunted Tom on being the last one to enter the meeting. However, Frank reminded Tom to be on time with his comment but saying that in front of all the senior managers is inappropriate and there are better ways to welcome someone in the meeting. Moreover, it is not mentioned that Tom was late in the meeting or was on time but the last one to enter the meeting...........................

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