Answer each question after the for the case study. one hundred words each case study
Marathon Runners at Different Levels
David Abruzzo is the newly elected president of the Metrocity Striders Track Club (MSTC). One of his duties is to serve as the coach for runners who hope to complete the New York City Marathon. Because David has run many marathons and ultramarathons successfully, he feels quite comfortable assuming the role and responsibilities of coach for the marathon runners.
The training period for runners intending to run New York is 16 weeks. During the first couple of weeks of training, David was pleased with the progress of the runners and had little difficulty in his role as coach. However, when the runners reached Week 8, the halfway mark, some things began to occur that raised questions in David’s mind regarding how best to help his runners. The issues of concern seemed quite different from those that David had expected to hear from runners in a marathon-training program. All in all, the runners and their concerns could be divided into three different groups.
One group of runners, most of whom had never run a marathon, peppered the coach with all kinds of questions. They were very concerned about how to do the marathon and whether they had the ability to complete such a challenging event successfully. They asked questions about how far to run in training, what to eat, how much to drink, and what kind of shoes to wear. One runner wanted to know what to eat the night before the marathon, and another wanted to know whether it was likely that he would pass out when he crossed the finish line. For David the questions were never-ending and rather basic. He wanted to treat the runners like informed adults, but they seemed to be acting immature, and rather childish.
The second group of runners, all of whom had finished the New York City Marathon in the previous year, seemed most concerned about the effects of training on their running. For example, they wanted to know precisely how their per-week running mileage related to their possible marathon finishing time. Would running long practice runs help them through the wall at the 20-mile mark? Would taking a rest day during training actually help their overall conditioning? Basically, the runners in this group seemed to want assurances from David that they were training in the right way for New York. For David, talking to this group was easy because he enjoyed giving them encouragement and motivational pep talks.
A third group was made up of seasoned runners, most of whom had run several marathons and many of whom had finished in the top 10 of their respective age divisions. Sometimes they complained of feeling flat and acted a bit moody and down about training. Even though they had confidence in their ability to compete and finish well, they lacked an element of excitement about running in the New York event. The occasional questions they raised usually concerned such things as whether their overall training strategy was appropriate or whether their training would help them in other races besides the New York City Marathon. Because of his running experience, David liked to offer running tips to this group. However, when he did, he felt like the runners ignored and discounted his suggestions. He was concerned that they may not appreciate him or his coaching.
Based on the principles of the SLII® model, how would you describe the runners in Group 1? What kind of leadership do they want from David, and what kind of leadership does David seem prepared to give them?
How would you describe the fit between the runners in Group 2 and David’s coaching style? Discuss.
The experienced runners in Group 3 appear to be a challenge to David. Using SLII®, explain why David appears ineffective with this group.
If you were helping David with his coaching, how would you describe his strengths and weaknesses? What suggestions would you make to him about how to improve?
Case 5.2Why Aren’t They Listening?
Jim Anderson is a training specialist in the human resource department of a large pharmaceutical company. In response to a recent companywide survey, Jim specifically designed a 6-week training program on listening and communication skills to encourage effective management in the company. Jim’s goals for the seminar are twofold: for participants to learn new communication behaviors and for participants to enjoy the seminar so they will want to attend future seminars.
The first group to be offered the program was middle-level managers in research and development. This group consisted of about 25 people, nearly all of whom had advanced degrees. Most of this group had attended several in-house training programs in the past, so they had a sense of how the seminar would be designed and run. Because the previous seminars had not always been very productive, many of the managers felt a little disillusioned about coming to the seminar. As one of the managers said, “Here we go again: a fancy in-house training program from which we will gain nothing.”
Because Jim recognized that the managers were very experienced, he did not put many restrictions on attendance and participation. He used a variety of presentation methods and actively solicited involvement from the managers in the seminar. Throughout the first two sessions, he went out of his way to be friendly with the group. He gave them frequent coffee breaks during the sessions; during these breaks, he promoted socializing and networking.
During the third session, Jim became aware of some difficulties with the seminar. Rather than the full complement of 25 managers, attendance had dropped to about only 15 managers. Although the starting time was established at 8:30, attendees had been arriving as late as 10:00. During the afternoon sessions, some of the managers were leaving the sessions to return to their offices at the company.
As he approached the fourth session, Jim was apprehensive about why things had been going poorly. He had become quite uncertain about how he should approach the group. Many questions were running through his mind: Had he treated the managers in the wrong way? Had he been too easy regarding attendance at the sessions? Should he have said something about the managers skipping out in the afternoon? Were the participants taking the seminar seriously? Jim was certain that the content of the seminars was innovative and substantive, but he could not figure out what he could change to make the program more successful. He sensed that his style was not working for this group, but he didn’t have a clue as to how he should change what he was doing to make the sessions better.
According to the SLII® model (see Figure 5.1), what style of leadership is Jim using to run the seminars?
At what level are the managers?
From a leadership perspective, what is Jim doing wrong?
What specific changes could Jim implement to improve the seminars?
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