Jeanne Lewis’ Team Leadership at Staples, Inc.

Introduction

Jeanne Lewis has proved to be a competent, dedicated, experienced and well educated manager. The point Team’s decision to pick on Lewis was not in vain since she had enough experience arising from various fields of business, ranging from product management, retail management, marketing, banking and other sectors of business management. Research has shown that women run companies are normally some of the fastest growing business entities especially in the technology sector. They make good use of networking and involve team leadership as a model of management. She also stands a better experience of entrepreneurial knowledge.

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The point team carefully evaluated her marketing track record, her responsibility, mastery of various job assignments, business acumen and drive besides the leadership talent she displayed as the key to strategic marketing qualities for the post. Among her key responsibilities both for the short term and long term goals include taking care of a comparatively big budget, management of a large staff, sales, creative output and management of risks (Steven Covey, 2008).

Main text

Lewis’ academic and work history speaks for itself. She has excelled in Product management and retail sales control, marketing, sales forecasting and field marketing besides working with the banking sector. She stands a better chance of breathing a new breath of growth and prospects for the Staples company and to keep the Staples business mantra of “faster, better and cheaper” and reinventing a customer centered approach in the marketing strategies as a strategic market change element for maximization of the profits. She will also be responsible for the management of relations with the target market and should embrace new technological measures and innovative market leadership skills and techniques and ensure that the position in the market can only be protected through an aggressive marketing and customer friendly and market demand goods.(Post,2008).

The above mentioned responsibilities are experiences that Jeanne has undergone and performed with equal dedication, measure and drive and will be surmountable challenges since the team under Krasnov is declared dedicated, loyal, experienced and willing to work. These are key values any boss would like his/her team to exhibit. She will be expected o fit into the big shoes of a business guru but this will equally provide an opportunity to create a name in the league of business gurus and open more doors than expected. She should as well realize the power of employee empowerment and in house stakeholder initiative to key in the business growth sustainability and progress besides the new challenge orders in life. She will be expected to be the communication link between the top leadership and the rest of the employees in her department. She will equally lead a team of marketing professionals and therefore should create room for consultative action taking venture in order to avoid erroneous decisions that may be detrimental to the business. (Ron Armstrong, 1987).

Even though skepticism is not any of her characteristics, her major challenges are far from the ones highlighted above. There are three challenges which are the key to Jeanne’s successful performance at the company. These three challenges include effective marketing, completion of the merger initiative with the Office Deport and staff management. It is fortunate that Lewis has realized that a serious change drive in management of the human resources in the three departments which have been considered a closed management system whereby Krasnov is the executive and the rest of the team is just implementers of his personal decisions. (Ilya ADLER, 2002). Credit is however equally given to Krasnov for thinking ahead of the pack and making a good decision to leave at a time the highest level of management and leadership was choking with employees burning with the ideas of change and transformation. In building a team, Lewis should understand the role of a team and that a team is a group of people who have come together collaboratively to achieve their objective or goal for which a mutual responsibility is key. (John Wickham, 2008).

Team building is as well the selective development and collective motivation of result oriented teams through group self assessment, group dynamic games within the practices of organizational development. Lewis will have to make critical trend/tradition changing decisions. First on her agenda is to identify the strategies of involvement of the entire staff to create a team. It is however; to her advantage that there are other new heads in these departments making change possible to achieve. This argument is made on the assumption that very little institutional management change resistance will be experienced. Besides, notably enough the in house labor promotion will motivate many more employees to work hard and diligently since it is not the number of years somebody has spent in a particular field but the record achievements of this person in that department coupled with commitment. (Alan Chapman, 2008).

The Success of a manager depends on how well he the team operates in terms of problem solving skills; enthusiasm and motivation. Studies have showed the potential of human beings to work in a group as being better than individually. Team leadership helps develop the individual talents in groups. Team based improvement, continuous improvement; total quality, lean manufacturing or self directed work teams will improve results for the customers. (Team Building: 2008). There is need to clarify the difference between a group and team. A group is a set of people with individual objectives who share the same boss, workplace, or organization. However a team is a group of people that is working towards a single common objective but they may as well have individual objectives which ultimately contribute to the bigger objective. Engagement of both the group and the term will lead to.

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Team building includes the following: goal clarification and team ownership building, identification of inhibitions to teamwork/overcoming them or mitigating on the effects on the team. Even as the team is building up, the team assesses itself to found out their present strengths and current weaknesses. In a bid to improve its performance, the team needs to identify the gap between the desired goal and the current state and design a gap closure strategy. The team needs to develop team building activities to develop effective communication and problem solving skills. (Wildedom Store, 2008).

Everyone in a team oriented environment contributes remarkably to the development and success of the organization. The team must have clear expectations, understand the context and be committed towards the process. These three factors are very critical to the progress on the premise of the teamwork. (Susan, M.Heathfield, 2008.) Benefits of working in a team include formation of cross functional teams to manage projects, design or improve products or processes, resolve chronic problems or conduct research on new equipments or technologies. Self managed team leadership provides sound management alternative to traditional leadership. (Bradford, 1987).

Team building and teamwork helps create a good working environment and promotes good work ethics, happy employees and sense of ownership of the projects. Many potential benefits are also seen since two heads are better than one. These benefits include like brainstorming, consensus building, and analysis of a problem from different perspectives and development of alternate plans of actions. The teamwork effort will also make employees come to work more prepared and this will improve productivity both individually and at work. (Rauenhorst, 2006). Self managed team leadership is widely and readily accepted by the team members due to this management style that can afford different methods of management that diffuse the traditional leadership style and these leaders lead without emphasis on authority. The team leader principally provides directional, communication and group process facilitation, coordination and support. However this style may compromise a leader and in turn take to the traditional management style. (Bradford, 1976).

The traditional team management style however delegates responsibility to take action based on sound reasoning that may be popular with most of the team members.. This style makes the team fully responsible for their actions and the leader identifies with the successes of the team. Self managed team leader must show responsibility, and exceptional leadership management skills. The following are some of the effective self managed team leadership requirements: servant attitude, and ability to achieve. (Pam Headridge, 2001). Effective team leaders display the following characteristics: The team leader is a fellow worker and not a supervisor of the group, leads by examples, is a dedicated servant, peace maker, coordinator, facilitator, and a communication link between the top administration or management.. (Ron Armstrong, 2005).

Generally ideal team leaders exhibit certain values including: commitment to people, desire to serve the team selflessly, enthusiastic, inspirational and an expert at leadership, willingness to shoulder responsibility, ability to make the team members achieve a goal beyond a group responsibility. (The Trust, 2008.) Lewis needs to involve the following team building activities so as to achieve the objective of team building: Team Building Games, Having regular meetings, Developing conflict resolution Mechanisms, Team parties, corporate group trainings on the importance of team building, employee involvement, team building holidays. (Adler Iya, 2003). Team building underscores several important progress prospects. The advantages include the following: An interdependent team will increase the profitability of the firm due to the sense of ownership, commitment and servitude. There will be a remarkable reduction on the operational costs due to the sense of responsibility, Communication flow will be improved hence making decision making and implementation fast. It will lead to a flawless execution of responsibility; it is a model of winning in the market Teams provide a family and a family is life, besides members of the team connect emotionally and feel responsible and caring towards each other (J.Richard Hackman, 1986).

Even though team building is primarily important, it also has certain demerits like when the team is not primarily interdependent, and then it will be counter productive on the group especially in the sales and marketing sector. The team building activities may as well just waste time and people and company resources. Communication breakdown may be experienced by autonomous departments hence team building needs to work on effective training on interdependence. (Leaders’ Institute, 2001).

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would recommend Lewis to continue with the plans of team building and effective market driven marketing and sales policies. Considering that she will be in charge of the marketing department and other departments besides marketing company goods and services to their clients without compromising the company steady growth rate. Lewis needs to develop a strategy of gradual implementation of the changes rather than an abrupt action which may be detrimental to the progress of the company. Lewis shows prospects of a successful business leader and she should use these talents to her advantage.

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The management of a company is not an easy job and the challenges involved should be carefully examined including involving consulting independent firms. Lewis should also involve productive motivation of the team, with purpose, challenge, camaraderie, responsibility, growth and leadership. There is need also to focus on crowning the customer to curb its niche in the market positioning and create customer feedback which has been lacking in the company. Lewis should also realize the motivational factors like incentives n in order to sufficiently bring comparative gains on both to the company and its employees. She should also increase her networking to create the competitive edge in meeting the intended customers at public and private for a. This will be an essential management strategy in the business.

References

  1. Adler Ilya, 2003. The importance of team building: how to achieve innovation and Competitive Advantage.
  2. Armstrong R. 2005.Requirements of a self managed team leader.
  3. Bradford D. 1987. Team Leadership. Web.
  4. Coovey S. 2008. The importance of team Building. Web.
  5. Headridge P, 2001. Team Building games.
  6. Heathfield S.M, 2008. How to make teams effective..
  7. John Wickham.2008. Growing a Team. Web.
  8. Leaders’ Institute, 2000.Characteristics of a good team.
  9. Post, 2008. Importance of team building.
  10. Richard H. J. 1986.What makes for a great Team?.
  11. Ron Armstrong, 1987. Requirements of a self managed Team leader..
  12. Team Building: 2008. Developing high performance teams.
  13. Team Building: 2008. Developing high performance teams.
  14. The Trust, 2008. What makes a good team leader. Web.
  15. Wildedom Store, 2008. Team Building Activities, Initiative Games, and problem Solving Exercises.
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