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Leadership And Change Management Research

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Leadership and Change Management Research

University of Phoenix

MBA/520

Transformational Leadership

May 14, 2007

Leadership and Change Management Research

The following assignment is submitted for MBA 520, Transformational Leadership and was compiled using benchmarks collected for the scenario faced by Janet Angelo as the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Intersect Investment Services. Janet was hired for her expertise in implementing a "Customer Intimacy" model at two other companies and most recently at a bank. In all three places, Janet was able to improve customer loyalty and increase sales. Janet recognizes that moving from a traditional customer service relationship to a "customer intimacy" model requires major organizational restructuring, and that in her previous positions, she had the luxury of making those changes gradually over three years' time. At Intersect, she has only 12 months. The main reference for this assignment was Kinicki & Kreitner's Organizational Behavior along with other research conducted by this learning team.

Specific Leadership Traits for Success

During the learning team's research and benchmarking several common threads were discovered that were evident in financially successful companies. One such common thread was the recurrence of the theme of a charismatic leader in charge during times of change.

Intersect recently hired Janet Angelo for the position of Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales specifically to implement a Customer Intimacy model in her department. Janet has been successful in implementing the customer intimacy model in other companies; however, Janet seems to lack in charismatic leadership skills which are needed to motivate employees. Janet may find it useful to benchmark Apple Computers and the success Steve Jobs brought the company through charismatic leadership before implementing change at Intersect.

"Historically, charisma has most often been associated with careers in politics, the military, or entertainment, which require playing to large audiences. But in the past few years, charisma has become important for business executives as well" (Bodow, 2002, para.1). If used appropriately, charisma can bring success by motivating employees to follow a vision.

At UBS, "Ð'...a leading global wealth manager, top-tier investment banking and securities firm, and one of the largest global asset managers" (UBS Homepage, 2007, para. 1), Bob Mann took the position of Life and Development Manager during a merger with The Swiss Bank Corporation. One of the first things he accomplished and implemented was creating a vision statement for the company. "One firm" encompasses all what UBS does and stands for. In an effort to build and maintain relationships, internally and externally, locally and globally, the company strives to meet its "One firm" vision. Intersect should create a brand or vision for the company to help lead its new mission of becoming more intimate with its customers.

Another instance where charismatic leadership is key is at Archer Daniels Midland where the largest price-fixing scandal in history resulted in stiff penalties including jail-time for senior management. The shareholders rightfully demanded a restructuring of the company's top executives. Patricia A. Woertz is the President and CEO and is succeeding at restoring trust in the shareholders for ADM.

According to Kreitner and Kinnicki, "Ð'...successful leaders are those individuals who step into a difficult situation and make a noticeable difference" (2004, p.594). The leaders of Intersect are entering a difficult situation and they could learn from the way Mrs. Woertz is succeeding. In a time of crisis companies need a leader who can not only lead, but also manage and motivate the employees to be less resistant to change.

Martha Stewart is very much an example of a charismatic leader that Intersect can look to. She started a catering service out of her basement in Westport, Connecticut in 1976 and one year later she was incorporated. Today the company is known as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and consists of four divisions including "publishing, television, merchandising, and internet/direct commerce" (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, n.d., para 3). Even though she met with a great deal of resistance over the years and directly owing to her charismatic leadership, she built a multimillion dollar company; she refused to allow other people to resist change.

Bob Parsons is the charismatic CEO of GoDaddy.com who runs a tight ship, but works to make big ideas happen and significantly reward his employees for their hard work. Intersect could learn from Mr. Parsons and his ways of treating employees.

GoDaddy's CEO says, "take time Ð'- preferably away from your business Ð'- and talk about your business with your employees" (Parsons, 2006,para.#). Parson also states, "You just want to know how they see things, and it's important that you share with them how you see things" (Parsons, 2004, para.#). If the CEO of Intersect is not sharing his insights of this transformation, employees will not believe management's ability to succeed in transforming and morale will continue to falter.

GoDaddy's CEO is known for his generosity. According to Domains magazine, "Go Daddy gives money away all the time. We do it with contests on a daily, weekly and monthly basis" (Domains Magazine, 2006, p. 1). The Business Journal has consistently ranked GoDaddy as one of the top places to work. This is true not only in the rewards, but the benefits packages must also provide for the employee and his/her family. This may be an area for Intersect to emphasize to build momentum in the change process.

Janet can also benchmark charismatic leadership from follow from Robert Wessman at Actavis who maintains a "hands-on approach" to daily operations and avoids the growth of large bureaucracies that large firms often develop. "It is important to remember that Kotter's research reveals that it is ineffective to skip steps and that successful organizational change is 70% to 90% leadership and only 10% to 30% management. Senior managers are thus advised to focus on leading rather than managing change" (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004, p#).

Facilitating a Culture Change

This Learning Team discovered several

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