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A 360° performance review process was conducted at Landon Care Products. The said process revealed that employees do not feel favorably towards Alex Sander for his inappropriate behavior towards his co-workers. Sander is assigned at the Toiletries Division and he leads the introduction of a European skin care product into the U.S. market. Such set-up requires that Sander coordinate with a team of various nationalities. Inasmuch as Sander is a talented employee and a star performer, his supervisor wants to retain him with the company but is worrying about how to manage Sander best considering the result of the performance evaluation.
Elizabeth Collins; Larry E. Greiner
Harvard Business Review (2177-PDF-ENG)
April 11, 2008
Case questions answered:
- How to channel Alex's talent and ensure success for the product group and for Alex as an individual?
- How to improve the 360º process next year and help Landon develop leadership talent long-term?
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Case answers for A Day in the Life of Alex Sander: Driving in the Fast Lane at Landon Care Products
Introduction – A Day in the Life of Alex Sander: Driving in the Fast Lane at Landon Care Products
Performance evaluations provide opportunities to receive feedback from multiple people regarding one’s job performance. In Landon Care, 360° feedback was recently implemented and there is a problem with Alex Sander, a product manager who repeatedly has inappropriate behavior towards his co-workers.
But Sander’s talent is undeniable and Sam Glass (the product teams’ supervisor) shows a high interest in keeping Alex in the organization. When asked by Glass to analyze the feedback forms, Sander claims that the system has no point and thinks that nothing new will come from it, treating the feedback process as a waste of time.
Thereby, in this case several questions arise: (1) how to channel Alex’s talent and ensure success for the product group and for Alex as an individual; (2) how to improve the 360º process next year and help Landon develop leadership talent longterm? The analytical discussion is given below.
(1) Alex Sander is not regarded as a good leader and lacks interpersonal skills with co-workers when it comes to communication, delegation of tasks and respect. The product team’s morale is highly affected by Alex’s narcissism and hostility, and, as a manager, I cannot have the star of this department being rejected by the rest of the team. Sander does not involve them in the decision-making process, often taking work from their hands and doing it on her/his own, making others feel underestimated. Despite that, the team agrees that Alex thinks ahead and uses whatever measures are necessary to do what needs to be done.
So, in order to take full advantage of Sander’s talent and savvy, as a manager, I have to moderate Alex’s relationship with the subordinates. A good start would be an honest conversation. Alex Sander is considered a ‘high-potential’ by the company and is aware of it, leveraging that fact to get away with disrespecting some of the companies’ practices, but rules and boundaries should be stipulated.
Making others feel respected is crucial and something all employees must do, so from an executive perspective, I would frankly advise Alex Sander to make an effort. Being a brilliant achiever is not enough and we will not…
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