Challenge the Boss or Stand Down Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Challenge the boss or stand down

Question 1

Frank's good and bad communication skills with Tom

Frank has a professional communicating style throughout. He never makes direct suggestion or compliment to any person in the meeting including Tom. The phrase he chooses to counter Tom never shows his anger and in the manner of professionalism. Due to his sufficient power in hierarchy he makes Tom work according to him. But he plays smartly, his every conversation shows professionalism. And as a result Shannon Mcdonald also deals with Tom according to the mail received by Frank.

“Glad you could make it, Tom,”


On the day of meeting of strategy planning, Tom went late to the meeting room where 12 people were already waiting for him. And before his manager Frank officially starts the meeting. He makes Tom to realize that his seniors were waiting for him and he came late to his first meeting after getting the promotion and become senior marketing specialist. It’s a good communication skill that he delivers his message to Tom without getting anger or without losing professionalism.

 “Excuse me?” Frank responded


A high designated person of a company cannot be interrupted directly. That makes the Frank so astonished. He gets little angry in other words. But professionally one cannot directly show his or her anger. So his dialogue makes Tom to realize one more time before cracking such interruptions baseless. It was Frank and he knows how to tackle it. It encounters in such a way that a smart one could notice that the disturbance is making him annoyed.


After taking a deep breath, Frank informs Tom about the major revenue generated markets for their business and further continues his presentation. But Tom again justifies his experience with the customers. And again Frank disagrees. Frank tells Tom straight away to focus on only in areas that are taught by him. He doesn’t want him to move further before him. He doesn’t want him to feel free and perform according to himself. Rather he wanted to assign every task to Tom. And he also wanted to know every plan of Tom.

“Have a seat tom.”


Further Frank told Tom that if he ever challenges him he will not only mail his complains rather he will be fired from his job. The requirements of the job could not be matched by him. According to Frank, tom is incapable of focusing strategy development, team work and clear communication up and down the chain of commands. Tom is just good for the sales which he has exercised. Frank outlines the mistakes and make Tom realizes his mistakes so that if he wanted to work with the company he would make the required changes. Frank also provides a copy of Email to Tom that contains corrective measures for him. Like poor judgment and unpleasant behavior.

“Tom, I’m going to keep closer tabs on you”


It was informed to Tom by Frank that he will be having eyes on him as he misled the top management. He was caught from his account exec that he was in Boston when the management knows that he is in New York. So he has to inform Frank about his future plans in detail and his daily schedules. The carelessness of Tom is responsible for the act. Such a behavior cannot be tolerated by any professional working area............................

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