Jamie Turner at MLI, Inc.
Jamie Turner faces a difficult situation at Modern Lighting Industries Inc. (MLI). The company is struggling financially and has recently been acquired by a larger firm. Turner was hired as Vice President (V.P.) of marketing and sales by company president Pat Cardullo. Turner was all but guaranteed Cardullo’s position in less than two years when he was hired. However, six months later, the young manager’s future at the company is in serious jeopardy. The root cause(s) can best be summarized as: The denigration of their relationship; which can be traced to two main issues. A) Ineffective communication between Cardullo and Turner.
B) The cultural differences between MLI, Inc. and the management style(s) that Turner was accustomed to with the previous companies for which he worked.
Cardullo has embraced an outdated style of management, he’s obdurate and refuses to adapt or be persuaded by his new Vice President –Turner. Not only is there is ineffective communication between Turner and Cardullo there is serious conflict and internal strife among the senior managers. Their interpersonal relationships continue to deteriorate as well. The malaise Turner is experiencing is very real; he needs to find solutions for the recalcitrant fractious management team at MLI, Inc. and he needs to do it immediately. Cultural and Leadership Differences
Cardullo manages by the old command and control model, he manages from the top down [one-way communication] he fails to recognize that most businesses’ follow models where the company is run by cross functional teams of peers. Cardullo thinks that departments should be independent of each other [micro-managed].
MLI has an undefined leadership situation with Cardullo spending half his time in San Diego and half in Chicago it has created a power vacuum in which Turner is seemingly in charge when Cardullo is not there but, Cardullo holds to power with an iron grip. When he is present he often undermines decisions made by his managers without collaborating with them. Misalignment
Departments not working together:
It would behoove Turner to network more effectively with the other members of upper management, for example Julie Chin [Comptroller] is an ardent supporter of Cardullo. She is willing to co-sign any decision Cardullo posits, even though it may not be in the company’s best interest. This in turn has created a very volatile relationship between Turner and Chin. Turner and Chin Bad Decisions
Turner hired Juanita Swenson, a brilliant manager with an impressive history in product management. However, when Swenson presented Turner with a spreadsheet indicating a serious potential cash flow problem, Turner queried Chin about the issue, Chin lied, [omitting the facts, telling half-truths] assuring Turner and Cardullo that there was no cash flow problem. It is difficult to assess Chin’s motives when faced with the compelling evidence brought on by Swenson in regards to the company’s potential cash flow issue. Whether she is maliciously lying to preserve her own self interest i.e. position in the company or simply refusing to accept a challenging view point she has committed one of the 7 communication mistakes managers make; lying outlined in the supplemental reading by Robbins. (added this I felt it flowed a little better see what you think not sure how to properly source the article.) Had Turner made a point to develop a relationship with Chin, to add her to his informal network [Informal Networks: Krackhart and Hanson] of people he could trust, it would have allowed the two to work together potentially bridging the communication gap between Turner and Cardullo. The situation now, is bitter anathema between the two senior managers. Perhaps Chin is not trustworthy, we can only speculate. Cardullo has not established credibility or trust with his employees, his background is not in MLI’s particular area [commercial lighting sales]. He believes in...
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