I recently read "Gung Ho!" written by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. This book gives a unique perspective on the leader versus manager concepts. It depicts the struggles a General Manager faces as she is given the daunting task of running Walton Works # 2. This book shows how motivation, appreciation, and respect can help to transform a self-destructive plant into a thriving successful business. While on the surface Peggy Sinclair, the General Manager, thought that she was being rewarded, it did not take longer than one day on the job to realize she was being set up. She had authored a "staff study
which concluded that Old Man Morris's new strategic plan had a fatal flaw" (Blanchard 2). Though he had admitted there was an issue and the savings to the company was one million dollars, he was not happy and he was going to allow her to take control of the worst performing plant which seemed doomed to failure within one year. It was apparent from day one that there was a problem. Productivity was down and the workers did not seem happy. She did however notice that the finishing department was running efficiently and successfully. Other Division Managers berated Andy Longclaw, who ran the finishing department. The Division Managers seemed to follow McGregor's Theory X which was "pessimistic, stifling, and outdated" (Kreitner 55). For them to recognize the successes of the finishing department they had to admit to their own failures within their respective departments so bashing Andy Longclaw's division was easier to do. Realizing she was being set up as a scapegoat for the failure of Walton Works #2 and wanting to save the jobs of the employees under her supervision she quickly befriended Andy and learned his techniques. Andy was a Native American and had learned some interesting leadership practices from his grandfather and he was more than willing to pass those lessens on to Peggy in an effort to save Walton Works #2. The messages...
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