interviewed six individuals who report directly or indirectly to
Bob. Interaction with Bob through these people includes past knowledge
of him (by reputation), attending staff meetings, one on one meetings,
daily encounters, recruit interviews. These individuals have known
Bob over a span of months to multiple years, and under other management
observes that Bob is very intelligent, articulate, deeply experienced
in the technical process of production, applies an excellent financial
analysis background to managing the plant and is highly skilled
in presentation and sales to customers. Many comment that he possesses
a strong vision for the plants direction toward further success,
and is future-oriented.
all feel, as much as they have individually observed, that Bob is
receptive to negative feedback, accepting it with respect and without
rancor. There is no sense of retaliation forthcoming. Further, with
some he proactively seeks out critical feedback.
commends Bob for the logical flow and organization of his staff
meetings. The meetings allow for dialog in a respectful atmosphere,
but there are some observations that speak to Bobs management
style in the meetings:
is sometimes not clear who needs to do what when.
occasion, Bob does not elicit enough detail or research before
a decision is made: a decision he makes alone. Bobs decision
is final, though the process leading up to that is fairly participative.
he makes his own decision despite serious reservations from his
managers. There can be a sense of impulsive decision-making.
there is lacking pragmatic follow-through from the meetings.
who report to Bob feel he holds himself personally accountable for
his own decisions that result in untoward events. He does not vocalize
this (as in saying It is my fault.), but he does not
pass the blame.
area of most concern with people who report to Bob is that he does
not hold the members of his personal team accountable for their
performance or their follow-through. Bob is viewed as overlooking
the failures or weaknesses of his team who are given key responsibilities.
Several say Bob needs to relocate them, reposition them or develop
them. On development, many reporting individuals observe that Bob
is not grooming his team. He needs to recognize that his team needs
significant skills cultivation to accomplish his own goals. Bob
is more focused on numbers than people, says one. With the
training of non-managerial staff, he often neglects to do training
Bobs relations with corporate, many of our reporting interviewees
observe that he does not fully understand the nature of corporate
interaction. Bob is regarded by most as possessing outstanding communication
skills. Yet, there are occasions where he will neglect to communicate
new approaches or important announcements to the employee force.
in the corporate level included five individuals. They have known
Bob for a number of years, spanning Schwans evolution over
toto, the corporate leaders observe that Bob is superbly aware of
his plant management in the business sense, holds a strategic overview,
is very facile in numbers and P & L statements, speaks well,
is extraordinary in his adaptation of plant equipment, innovative
(considered the most innovative plant manager), and genuinely wants
to do the right thing for the company, is personable and gets along
well with people, admits when he is wrong when events are brought
to his attention.
these pluses come with the recognition that Bob possesses a remarkable
entrepreneurial spirit, and much of his drive and capacity revolves
around this characteristic. Corporate leaders are aware that plant
managers have their own worlds. Bob is viewed as holding
this attitude the most of all plant managers.
everyone observed that Bob needs to spend more time on the floor,
daily talking with the supervisors and line people to have a much
richer sense of the day to day spirit and operation of the plant.
It was stated that with a daily overview of the life of the plants
floor, it would be easier to solve problems.
Bob is noted for his fluency in speaking, it was also noted that
he is not often a good communicatorin the sense of communicating
the flows of innovations, plans or solutions down to the plant force
or up to corporate. Tangential to this communication flaw, Bob is
observed by the corporate leadership as not holding his team accountable
for their responsibilities and innovation assignments. Execution
means accountability. Bob does not want his people to look bad.
They also feel Bob needs to put a lot of time into developing his
team, noting that he has surrounded himself with his own people,
while eschewing manager candidates sent from corporate.
observing Bobs leadership style of staff meetings, they notice
that, unlike other plant managers, Bob does all the presentationsnot
cultivating his managers in their own self-affirming and participatory
significant area of reflection for Bob is his propensity with corporate
to bring in problems without solutions, to not follow up on expected
reports to corporate, to be more voluntarily open and forthcoming
with corporate, to be more generous in taking blame. Many hope Bob
will recognize that the corporate leaders are there to help him,
not hinder him.
with peers consisted of two individuals, who have known Bob for
a number of years.
peers are very impressed with Bobs management of the construction
of the Germany plant, and its subsequent operating management. They
observe that Bob is excellent on the accounting and metric side
of the plant management, and has a keen understanding of the product
and market. They also note that Bobs transition through various
sizes of facilities put him into a very challenging situation when
he took over the Mings operation. They note that the Mings
operation presents particularly difficult circumstances because
of its past management (that Bob took over from) and the cultural
expressions of the work force that Bob needs to understand and cultivate.
They feel Bob is very trustworthy. They note he is communicative
with them on similar plant concerns.
Bob is exceptional at innovations and the numbers, these peers feel
he needs to dramatically improve his people skills. He needs to
be working prominently and consistently to sincerely communicate
on both a personal and leadership level with his work force. A typical
comment is, He needs to get into the hourly welfare type stuff.
was noted that Bob is not mentoring his team as much as he should,
and sometimes does not recognize the value of a key manager. He
needs to follow the process of putting the right person into the
right place. Further, in communication, he needs to connect more
with his people, to insightfully self-reflect and apply ways to
motivate his plant employees, to take the time to understand the
culture or mix of cultures. In one statement, People are his
business, not making more pizzas.
management style, there is an observation that Bob is overly autocraticperhaps,
as they observe, because the German operation was autocratic and
ran well that way. The advice from peers is that Bob needs to transition
quickly into a participative management, and that he needs a developmental