Growing Managers: Moving from Team Member to Team Leader Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Alternative Approaches for Richardson

            Richardson, as a sales manager wanted to follow the approach of creating the friendly environment and increasing the communication with each individual member so that she could understand the needs and wants of every team member and she could utilize that for increasing their productivity. Moreover, she was given more importance to the team members and was ignoring her own tasks. Therefore, she failed as a leader and was unable to increase the productivity of the sales team and generating revenues.

            Considering her initial meeting with the team members, it was not very productive in terms of the response of the team members and the speech that she made. The regional manager was not able to introduce her to the staff of the team and when she conducted the meeting, she was unable to deliver the perfect speech and hence, the team members were not interested in her speech. The first impression is the last impression, she should have followed the approach of delivering a very effective speech that would have a strong impact on the team members. The main approach which she should have followed was that she should have introduced the business level plan and the strategies that she was supposed to follow for increasing the performance of the sales team. Through this approach detailed plan and tactics of Richardson could have been forwarded to the team members and how they could be implemented for increasing the sales.

            Richardson, should have taken training from the regional manager first or should have conducted the meeting in his presence so that the team members would have taken it seriously. She just had to arrange an orientation in order to introduce herself with the team members, whereas, there was a need of flow of communication between her and the team members so that the clear direction was given to the team members according to their weaknesses and strengths. As some of the members were quite good in their work and some were struggling.

 Moreover, Richardson, should have performed the need assessment of her team and the job design and job analysis would have been quite easy to assess for her. She should have understood the systems within the organization which were necessary for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the team members and whether the strategies were implemented successfully. However, she should have taken strict actions over the rude behavior of Alex. Furthermore, the unprofessional behavior of Sarah Vega was not supposed to be tolerated by Richardson, and strict approach should have been followed by her such as, not giving her permission to enter the premises after 9 am, discouraging the use of cell phone for personal use during work. Also, she should have set targets for each member so that they would have a sense of responsibility amongst them.

All these approaches could have increased her performance in a way that she would have control over the situation, it could have been easy to lead the team, monitor the performance of the team members and the team members would have given her more importance as a manager.

Theoretical Models as Analysis

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory


Melissa Richardson

Richardson was highly dominated by the social needs. As she preferred friendly environment and being accepted by the team members. For instance, she thought of enjoying with the team members after achieving the sales target. Moreover, she was quite interested in building good relations with her team members. She was so friendly and social that Ruiz was able to easily convince her for considering him for the higher designation through his communication and friendly conversation style.

            She was also moderate in self-actualization as she was trying her level best to cope up with different challenges that she was facing during her job. She also got distracted from her goals because she was giving more efforts on building relations with the team members rather than trying to achieving her goals. (Tay & Diener, 2011)

Alex Hoffman

Alex was high at self-esteem because he was very confident about his current performance and his achievement of the sales targets. Due to his confidence he was acting rude with Richardson and denied to contact the florists. Moreover, he also had a rude attitude towards the management as he did not like to convey the information to the management unless he was asked for it. Furthermore, his self-actualization was quite high and he used to give his hundred percent for achieving his targets. He was independent and creative, though he had a rude attitude towards Richardson, but he was comfortable in his zone and did not like interference from the management (Cianci & Gambrel, 2003).................................

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