Crystal L. LaCour
Colorado State University
Details of Negative Leadership Behavior
When I first took on a production supervisor job in a manufacturing environment, I managed a large group of employees (60+) with essentially no sense of team dynamics or continuous improvement, and no direct reports in leadership. I spent nearly four years working to change the culture through Total Quality Management and transformational leadership practices. In that time, I grew and developed a solid leadership staff that gained exceptional management skills and a great deal of empowerment. It became a very fun and exciting work environment, as everyone began to participate in improving all aspects of the department as well as their own personal goals. As the business unit was at its peak, I received a promotion. My manager was forced to bring in a temporary interim supervisor to assume my responsibilities until a suitable candidate could be placed, which took nearly nine months. As I was still in the same department, I was able to watch the transformation that took place. In a very short amount of time and under what became a very controlling style of leadership, the department quickly lost sight of the culture we had developed. Within weeks he had cut out many of the responsibilities outside of normal production that had been the driving force behind continuous improvement and team building objectives. Those responsibilities that remained either required his approval or were assumed by him all together. Lower level team meetings dropped off so that employees could stay at their work station for the extra ten minutes, and process advancement team focused only on productivity metrics. The motivated, team-oriented group with a strong focus on continuous improvement had reverted back to a non-interactive group, focusing only on the day to day productivity rather than personal improvement goals, and the...