Assignment 1: Personal Assessment of Managerial Skills
Due Week 3 and worth 125 points
To complete this assignment, you will need to complete the “Apply Your Skills Experiential Exercise: Aptitude Questionnaire” on pages 30-31 in Chapter 1 of the textbook. (This was assigned to do in Week 1.) Interpret your assessment findings based on the provided scoring and interpretation instructions.
Review your assessment findings from the Aptitude Questionnaire exercise, and write a three to four (3-4) page double-spaced paper in which you address the following:
- For each skill area, conceptual, human and technical, summarize your findings (where you were stronger, and where you were weaker). What was your initial reaction to learning about your strengths and weaknesses in these areas? Were your results expected or were you surprised?
- Identify at least one (1) resource (for a total of at least three (3) to help you improve in each area: conceptual, human, technical. Use Strayer University Library at https://research.strayer.edu or in your Blackboard classroom, go to Career and search Lynda.com to locate resources.
- Describe how your strengths in these skill areas can transfer to promoting a positive culture in a global environment.
- Go to https://research.strayer.edu to locate two (2) quality academic resources. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
- Be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
- Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Examine the concepts of management related to modern-day work environments.
- Analyze the corporate environment, culture, and challenges for managing in a global environment.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in modern management.
- Write clearly and concisely about modern management using proper writing mechanics.Part 1 INTRODuCTION TO MANAgEMENT30
- 1. How do you feel about having management responsibilities in today’s world, which is characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity, and sudden changes or threats from the environment? Describe some skills and competencies that you think are important to managers working in these conditions. 2. Assume that you are a project manager at a biotechnology company and that you work with managers from research, production, and marketing on a major product modification. You notice that every memo you receive from the marketing manager has been copied to senior management. At every company function, she spends time talking to the big shots. You are also aware that sometimes when you and the other project members are slaving away over the project, she is playing golf with senior managers. What is your evaluation of her behavior? As project manager, what do you do? 3. Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, tweeted for the first time in September 2012, prompting this response: “ @JeffImmelt how come my grandfather got on twitter before you?” Do you think managers should use Twitter and other social media? Can you be an effective manager today without using new media? Why? 4. Why do some organizations seem to have a new CEO every year or two, whereas others have top leaders who stay with the company for many years (e.g., John Chambers’s nearly 20 years at Cisco)? What factors about the manager or about the company might account for this difference?
- 5. Think about the highly publicized safety recall at General Motors (GM) for defective ignition systems. One observer said that a goal of efficiency had taken precedence over a goal of quality within this company. Do you think managers can improve both efficiency and effectiveness simultaneously? Discuss. 6. You are a bright, hard-working, entry-level manager who fully intends to rise up through the ranks. Your performance evaluation gives you high marks for your technical skills, but low marks when it comes to people skills. Do you think people skills can be learned, or do you need to rethink your career path? If people skills can be learned, how would you go about learning them? 7. If managerial work is characterized by variety, fragmentation, and brevity, how do managers perform basic management functions such as planning, which would seem to require reflection and analysis? 8. A college professor told her students, “The purpose of a management course is to teach students about management, not to teach them to be managers.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Discuss. 9. Discuss some of the ways that organizations and jobs have changed over the past ten years. What changes do you anticipate over the next ten years? How might these changes affect the manager’s job and the skills that a manager needs to be successful? 10. How might the teaching of a management course be designed to help people make the transition from individual performer to manager in order to prepare them for the challenges they will face as new managers?
- ch1 Discussion Questions
- Aptitude Questionnaire Rate each of the following questions according to the following scale: 1 I am never like this. 2 I am rarely like this. 3 I am sometimes like this. 4 I am often like this. 5 I am always like this. 1. When I have a number of tasks or homework to do, I set priorities and organize the work around deadlines. 1 2 3 4 5 2. Most people would describe me as a good listener. 1 2 3 4 5 3. When I am deciding on a particular course of action for myself (such as hobbies to pursue, languages to study,
- which job to take, or special projects to be involved in), I typically consider the long-term (three years or more) implications of what I would choose to do. 1 2 3 4 5 4. I prefer technical or quantitative courses rather than those involving literature, psychology, or sociology. 1 2 3 4 5 5. When I have a serious disagreement with someone, I hang in there and talk it out until it is completely resolved. 1 2 3 4 5 6. When I have a project or assignment, I really get into the details rather than the “big picture” issues. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I would rather sit in front of my computer than spend a lot of time with people. 1 2 3 4 5 ch1 apply Your Skills: Experiential Exercise NOT FOR SALE
- IntroductIon 1Cha Pter 1 THE WORLD OF INNOVATIVE MANAgEMENT 31 8. I try to include others in activities or discussions. 1 2 3 4 5 9. When I take a course, I relate what I am learning to other courses I took or concepts I learned elsewhere. 1 2 3 4 5 10. When somebody makes a mistake, I want to correct the person and let her or him know the proper answer or approach. 1 2 3 4 5 11. I think it is better to be efficient with my time when talking with someone, rather than worry about the other person’s needs, so that I can get on with my real work. 1 2 3 4 5 12. I have a long-term vision of career, family, and other activities and have thought it over carefully. 1 2 3 4 5 13. When solving problems, I would much rather analyze some data or statistics than meet with a group of people. 1 2 3 4 5 14. When I am working on a group project and someone doesn’t pull a fair share of the load, I am more likely to complain to my friends than to confront the slacker. 1 2 3 4 5 15. Talking about ideas or concepts can get me really enthusiastic or excited. 1 2 3 4 5 16. The type of management course for which this book is used is really a waste of time. 1 2 3 4 5 17. I think it is better to be polite and not hurt people’s feelings. 1 2 3 4 5 18. Data and things interest me more than people. 1 2 3 4 5 Scoring and interpretation Subtract your scores for questions 6, 10, 14, and 17 from the number 6, and then add the total points for the following sections: 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 Conceptual skills total score ________ 2, 5, 8, 10, 14, 17 Human skills total score ________ 4, 7, 11, 13, 16, 18 Technical skills total score ________ These skills are three of the skills needed to be a good manager. Ideally, a manager should be strong (though not necessarily equal) in all three. Anyone noticeably weaker in any of these skills should take courses and read to build up that skill. For further background on the three skills, please refer to the explanation in the Management Skills section.
- Your best and Worst Managers Step 1. On your own, think of two managers that you have had—the best and the worst. The managers could be anyone who served as an authority figure over you, including an instructor, a boss at work, a manager of a student organization, a leader of a student group, a coach, a volunteer committee in a nonprofit organization, and so on. Think carefully about the specific behaviors that made each manager the best or the worst and write down what that manager did. The best manager I ever had did the following: ________________________________________
- The worst manager I ever had did the following: ________________________________________
- ________________________________________ Step 2. Divide into groups of four to six members. Each person should share his or her experiences, one at a time. On a sheet of paper or on whiteboard, write separate lists of best-manager and worst-manager behaviors. Step 3. Analyze the two lists. What themes or patterns characterize “best” and “worst” manager behaviors? What are the key differences between the two sets of behaviors? Step 4. What lessons does your group learn from its analysis? What advice or “words of wisdom” would you give managers to help them be more effective?
- ch1 apply Your Skills: Small Group Breakout
- NOT FOR SALE
- Part 1 INTRODuCTION TO MANAgEMENT32
- Can Management Afford to Look the Other Way?77 Harry Rull had been with Shellington Pharmaceuticals for 30 years. After a tour of duty in the various plants and seven years overseas, Harry was back at headquarters, looking forward to his new role as vice president of U.S. marketing. Two weeks into his new job, Harry received some unsettling news about one of the managers that he supervised. During a casual lunch conversation, Sally Barton, the director of human resources, mentioned that Harry should expect a phone call about Roger Jacobs, manager of new product development. Jacobs had a history of being “pretty horrible” to his subordinates, she said, and one disgruntled employee asked to speak to someone in senior management. After lunch, Harry did some follow-up work. Jacobs’s performance reviews were stellar, but his personnel file also contained a large number of notes documenting charges of Jacobs’s mistreatment of subordinates. The complaints ranged from “inappropriate and derogatory remarks” to charges of sexual harassment (which were subsequently dropped). What was more disturbing was the fact that the number and the severity of the complaints had increased with each of Jacobs’s ten years with Shellington. When Harry questioned the company president about the issue, he was told, “Yeah, he’s had some problems,
- but you can’t just replace someone with an eye for new products. You’re a bottom-line guy; you understand why we let these things slide.” Not sure how to handle the situation, Harry met briefly with Jacobs and reminded him to “keep the team’s morale up.” Just after the meeting, Barton called to let him know that the problem that she’d mentioned over lunch had been worked out. However, she warned, another employee had come forward and demanded that her complaints be addressed by senior management.
- What Would You Do? 1. Ignore the problem. Jacobs’s contributions to new product development are too valuable to risk losing him, and the problems over the past ten years have always worked themselves out anyway. There’s no sense starting something that could make you look bad. 2. Launch a full-scale investigation of employee complaints about Jacobs and make Jacobs aware that his documented history over the past ten years has put him on thin ice. 3. Meet with Jacobs and the employee to try to resolve the current issue, and then start working with Barton and other senior managers to develop stronger policies regarding sexual harassment and treatment of employees, including clear-cut procedures for handling complaints.
- ch1 apply Your Skills: Ethical Dilemma
- ch1 apply Your Skills: Case for Critical analysis
- SmartStyle Salons Jamika Westbrook takes pride in her position as salon manager for SmartStyle Salon, one of six local hair salons associated with a large retail store chain located in the Southeast and one of five chain store groups under the Gold Group umbrella. She oversees a staff of 30, including hairdressers, a nail technician, receptionists, shampoo assistants, and a custodian. She enjoys a reputation as a manager who works very hard and takes care of her people. Hairdressers want to work for her. Following the salon’s new-hire policy, Jamika began as a shampoo assistant and quickly became a top hairdresser in the company through a combination of skill, a large and loyal client base, and long hours at work. In 2007, retiring manager Carla Weems hand-picked Jamika as her successor, and the board quickly approved. Initially, the salon, located in a suburban mall, managed a strong, steady increase, holding its position as one of the corporation’s top performers. But economic woes hit the area hard, with increases in unemployment, mortgage woes, and foreclosures among current and potential customers. As families sought ways to save, the luxury of regular visits to the hair salon was among the first logical budget
- cuts. The past year has reflected this economic reality, and Jamika’s salon saw a sharp decrease in profits. Jamika’s stomach is in knots as she arrives at the salon on Monday. Scheduled to fly to Atlanta the next morning for a meeting at corporate, she fears potential staffing cuts, but more important, she fears the loss of opportunity to secure her dream job: replacing the retiring manager at the Riverwood Mall location, which is the top-performing salon and is located in an upscale area of the city. Distracted, Jamika walks past the receptionist, Marianne, who is busily answering the phones. Hanging up the phone, Marianne tells Jamika that Holly and Carol Jean, two popular hairdressers, called in sick, and Jamika now has to reschedule their clients. Jamika had denied their earlier request to travel out of town to attend a concert, and her irritation is obvious. She orders Marianne to call both women and instruct them that, when they return to work, they are to bring a doctor’s statement and a copy of any prescriptions that they were given. “They had better be sick!” Jamika shouts as she enters her office, slamming the door more forcefully than she intended. Startled employees and early-morning customers hear the outburst, and, after a momentary pause, they resume their activities and quiet NOT FOR SALE
- IntroductIon 1Cha Pter 1 THE WORLD OF INNOVATIVE MANAgEMENT 33 conversation, surprised by the show of managerial anger. Jamika knows she has let Holly and Carol Jean get away with unwarranted absences before and worries that she will do it again. She needs every head of hair that they can style to help the salon’s profit. Jamika takes a deep breath and sits at her desk, turning on the computer and checking e-mails, including one from the group manager reminding her to send the salon’s status report in advance of tomorrow’s meeting. She buzzes Marianne on the intercom to request final figures for the report on her desk by 1:00 p.m. Picking up the phone, she calls Sharon, a manager at another SmartStyle salon. “I really lost my cool in front of everyone, but I’m not apologizing,” Jamika admits, adding that she wished she had the guts to fire both stylists. “But this is not the day for that drama. I’ve got that report hanging over my head. I have no idea how to make things look better than they are, but I have to come up with something. Things look pretty dismal.” Sharon assures her that she did the best she could dealing with two “irresponsible” employees. “What will you do if they show up tomorrow with no doctor’s statement?” “I don’t know. I hope I scared them enough so that they’ll come in with something.” “I know you’re worried about the report and the effect it might have on the Riverwood job,” Sharon says. “But everyone knows you can’t control the economy and its effect on the business. Just focus on the positive. You’ll be fine.” At 10:30, as Jamika struggles to put the best possible spin on the report, she is paged to the receptionist desk to speak to an angry customer. “Another interruption,” Jamika fumes to herself. Just then, the door opens and top stylist/assistant manager Victoria Boone sticks her head into the office. “I know you’re busy with the report. I’ll handle this,” she says enthusiastically. “Thanks,” Jamika replies. No sooner has she handed off the irate client to Victoria than she second-guesses the decision. In addition to her talents as a hairdresser, Victoria had experience as the manager of a successful salon in another city before moving to the area. Recognizing her organizational and people skills, Jamika promoted Victoria to assistant manager soon after her arrival. Now each “I’ll handle this” remark by Victoria convinces Jamika that her assistant manager is positioning herself as a potential rival for the Riverwood job. Jamika appreciates her enthusiastic attitude, but she’s also trying to limit her opportunities to lead or appear too competent before staff, customers, and company officials. Jamika finds herself wanting to hide Victoria’s competence, and she has condescendingly reminded management that Victoria is a “great help to me.” Now, thinking of Victoria’s cheerful “I’ll handle this,” Jamika rises from her desk and marches to the door. No, Jamika thinks, I’ll take care of this personally. Questions 1. What positive and negative managerial characteristics does Jamika possess? 2. How do these traits help or hinder her potential to get the top position at the Riverwood Mall salon? 3. How do you think Jamika should have handled each of the incidents with Marianne? Holly and Carol Jean? Victoria?