Lisa Benton: Case Study Review

Topics: Boss, Assertiveness, Product manager Pages: 9 (3015 words) Published: April 25, 2013
Assignment 3:
Lisa Benton Case Analysis
Katherine Torkelson
Jack Welch Management Institute

JWI 510 Leadership in the 21st Century
March 10, 2013

Executive Summary
This paper will discuss and analyze Lisa Benton, a recent Harvard Business School graduate. She is now an assistant product manager at a company called Houseworld. Lisa has a poor relationship with her new boss and coworker and she recently received a poor performance review. She is worried about her future with the company, and if she chose the right company to begin her career after receiving her MBA. Introduction

Lisa had a tough decision to make. During her time in school working towards her MBA, she worked as the assistant to the president of Right-Away stores which is a premier convenience food store chain based in Chicago. When she had completed her MBA program, she had the choice between becoming the director of marketing at Right-Away or be assistant product manager at Houseworld’s Home Care Division (Weber, 1994).

The position at Right-Away was very desirable to Lisa. It had many bonuses including a nice salary and upward advancement within a few years. In comparison, industry leader Houseworld would offer her training that she desired. When Lisa interviewed at Houseworld she was impressed by who she interviewed with and the company’s headquarter building. (Weber, 1994). When she decided to take the job with Household, her superior at Right-Away was disappointed.

Even though Lisa had thoroughly investigated Houseworld, she started her position not knowing who her boss was going to be or where she was going to be assigned. During her investigation she learned that “Houseworld used an MBO evaluation process (conducted annually in January using very specific objectives) and that promotion occurred from within. It was the product manager’s responsibility to groom his or her associate to be ‘promotable’” (Weber, 1994, p. 2).

When Lisa showed up for work she stunned her boss, Deborah Linton. Deborah wasn’t expecting her for another week so she had Lisa begin to get situated in her cubicle with Ron Scoville, one of the associate product managers. These cubicles were in an area nicknamed, “Hamster Haven” (Weber, 1994). Determine why Lisa has not been effective in influencing her boss.

Influencing a co-worker, especially your boss in a proper and non-threatening way is a delicate dance one must prepare for. One theory Lisa can follow to increase her influence within her new organization, and her boss, is discussed by the American Management Association. This theory is needs to have proper supporting tactics which are based upon trustworthiness, reliability and assertiveness. (McIntosh & Luecke, 2011)

Trustworthiness is an attribute a person can develop if they do not currently have it within their characteristic profile. Trustworthiness or trust is an attribute “that is earned over time by: * Telling the truth, no matter how painful

* Delivering both the good news and the bad
* Taking responsibility for our mistakes
* Identifying the upside and downside potential of our suggestions * Recognizing the value of ideas that compete with our own * Giving careful thought and analysis to our proposals
* Providing decision makers with the information they need to make wise choices * Putting organizational goals above our own
* Respecting confidentiality
* Having the courage to say, “I don’t know” when appropriate” (McIntosh & Luecke, 2011, p. 13) As time goes by, the above behavioral effects will increase influence power through trustworthiness. Lisa needs to understand it is going to take time to be able develop this aspect of influence within her position.

Reliability can be defined as “a personal quality that gives others the confidence in saying or thinking, “I can count on that person to follow through” (McIntosh & Luecke, 2011, p. 13). During a conversation between Lisa and Helene Brenner,...
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