Wolfgang Keller

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WOLFGANG KELLER AT KONIGSBRAU-HELLAS A.E.
Individual Case Analysis

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do what you want done because he wants to do it” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Leadership styles vary from person to person. A person’s leadership style is indicative of that person’s personality. Like personalities, some leadership styles clash. Wolfgang Keller and Dimitri Petrou are an example of clashing leadership styles. Keller, an autocratic leader, manages differently than Petrou, a delegative leader.

WOLFGANG KELLER: The Autocratic Leader

Wolfgang Keller is a young leader who experienced success early on in his career by turning around a small subsidiary in Greece then later a larger subsidiary in a short amount of time. Keller “had a reputation as a successful hands-on-manager.” This reputation led him to Konigsbrau’s Greek subsidiary. Here it was his job to turn around this struggling segment.

To turn this segment around Keller introduced a new marketing strategy. This strategy focused on distributor relationships, at the service and retail levels. The implementation of this new strategy was the responsibility of Dimitri Petrou, Keller’s subordinate. Keller did not consult with Petrou on the formation of this strategy and micromanaged the implementation to be sure it was getting done the way Keller had envisioned.

This micromanagement leadership style is consisted with an autocratic leadership style. An autocratic leader makes decisions alone without asking for the suggestions or opinions of the employees. Keller fits this description, demonstrating an autocratic leadership style in both previous positions and his current positions. In an authoritative role, Keller makes the key decisions to achieve the desired results while overcoming obstacles. While successful outcomes are achieved, Keller does not recognize team contributions or reward team members, nor does he provide clear direction or emotional support for those team members who do not meet his expectations.

DIMITRI PETROU: The Delegative Leader

Dimitri Petrou is an older leader who has experienced great success in two large consumer-oriented countries. His experience and maturity led him to Konigsbrau to balance the largely young group of managers attracted to the company by Keller. As the commercial director for Konigsbrau, Petrou oversaw the marketing and sales divisions of the company. In this role, Petrou redesigned the sales force organization and created a comprehensive set of information and control systems. His analytical skills and knowledge of the industry improved the segments performance.

In order to produce results, Petrou did not get involved with the sales function. He encouraged autonomy and responsibility in the field. This view of leadership is consistent with the delegative leadership style. Delegative leaders give employees decision-making responsibilities. In addition, Petrou’s relationship with his employees was very formal and his distant management style hurt his effectiveness.

THE ISSUE

Keller does not see Petrou as a productive commercial director. He believes that Petrou’s management style is not beneficial to the subsidiary in Greece. Keller must decide how to handle Petrou either terminate Petrou or not award him his bonus.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Keller’s solutions to the Petrou issue are based on his personal relationship with the commercial director not on the outcomes of his performance. Neither of these solutions will solve Keller’s problem. Keller must take a step back and evaluate his own leadership abilities. To better the relationship between Keller and Petrou and the relationships of future employees, Konigsbrau should: * Require Keller and Petrou to begin a conflict resolution program to work towards a healthy business relationship. * Implement a 360-degree feedback program to avoid this problem in the future.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Working Together to Improve

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