Matt Leeds has been working as an associate consultant in Danner Boynton for (4) months. He has a bad relationship with his boss, Dan Lyle and with a colleague, Eleanor Swift. His performance review was not good and since the first day his boss expressed disliking Harvard MBAs. Leeds had a choice to take a job with Right-Away stores or Danner Boynton after graduation. In Right-Away, he had done an internship doing consulting work and was respected and valued by the President Scott Kingston. Leeds felt that taking a position in the consulting firm would give him a broader exposure in the retail/marketing field and the job in general was more glamorous. Kingston offered him a job and also promised Leeds would become a VP in a few years. He ended up accepting the offer from Danner Boynton and Scott was not happy with the decision. Danner Boynton has (3) practicing areas; mass merchants and luxury retailers, catalog/direct marketing and consumer goods manufacturers. Leeds would be a part of the first practice and the recruiter, with whom Leeds interacted with, spoke highly of the Senior Partner in charge of the area but also mentioned moral was a down due to the low number of promotions to partnership. The hierarchy at the company is the following: Associate consultant, Consultant, Engagement Manager, Partner, Managing Director
Each office has a managing director who optimizes the use of resources to keep staff as fully billable as possible, especially junior people who do not have clientele. Engagement Directors sell services and staff it with Engagement Managers who use consultants. Engagement Managers participate in one project at a time usually for up to (8) months. Consultants are rotated more often, every four to six months. This is done to allow consultants to be a part at different stages of the engagement with different clients. Danner uses a formal Management by Objectives evaluation process and most of the promotions are from within. Leeds was interviewed by managers that impressed him but he was also told he would not know who his boss or assignment was until the first day of work, He was also told he would become an engagement manager within 2 to 3 years.
His first day at work he met his boss who outlined his first assignment in about ten minutes. It was a merchandising optimization model project with a chain of women's apparel stores, but it would not start for another six months, and in the meantime the project had to be planned. He was introduced to the only other consultant on the project up to that time, Eleanor Swift. He had a meeting with his boss that did not go well because his boss had stereotyped MBAs as people who know less than what they really claim. His boss was confrontational stating Leeds would not get special treatment and that he would have to prove himself like everyone else. Leeds replied stating he was someone who got his hands dirty and gave examples of this in his role in the stores. His boss also told him in the next weeks he would be extremely busy finishing a project, but that he was welcome to ask any questions if needed. Lyle told Leeds his initial job was to work on project plans for each major part of the project and to work with Swift, but that he had to report to him and not Swift. Leeds was not happy with the first meeting with his boss, whom he saw as not welcoming and disinterested. He also met Swift who characterized herself as a corporate misfit, who knew how to get things done but did not engage in politics like everyone else. She told Leeds that by working with her he would learn his job. She also expressed her dislike for Harvard MBAs and went on to say he would be in learning mode for at least six months and also mentioned the company was a highly structured environment. Leeds was not happy with his boss or peer but had mixed feelings about the project. The negative part was that it would start in six months, but it was good to...
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