Motivation and Empowerment Management Case Assignment

User Generated


Business Finance


Answer the following questions in full and complete sentences. It is important to state and defend your opinion. Use information from the assigned articles, video cases, speakers, and classroom discussions to answer the questions. The paper should be at least 500 words and should include works cited. It should be written following APA style and submitted as a Word file.

Grading criteria for the paper will include:

  • Accuracy and depth of discussion of each of these questions
  • Quality and organization of your argument
  • Thoroughness of your responses
  • Grammar, clarity of writing, and spelling

Context: Chris Tilghman decided to pursue an interest in education after attending business school. He joined Inside Track, a start-up company that provides personal coaching for college students. His first experiences in managing people left him with mixed feelings.

Please address the following questions in your paper:

  • If you were Tilghman, what would your priorities be to ensure that you made your numbers?
  • How would you handle the poor performers?
  • How do you motivate someone for whom it’s “just a job?”
  • Is it necessary to treat people equally?
  • What sort of conversation do you have in trying to help turn around a poor performer?
  • What happens if Tilghman doesn’t deal with poor performers?
  • How long should he take to address poor performance issues?
  • Why do unsanctioned poor performers hurt the group?
  • Why are bosses typically slow to deal with these issues?


Daft, R. L. (2018). The leadership experience (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Chapter 8: Motivation and Empowerment

Hill, L. (2007). Becoming the boss. Harvard Business Review, 85(1), 48–56.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Leading People and Organizations Becoming the Boss Introduction My name is Chris Tilghman. I work for a company called Inside Track that is headquartered in San Francisco. We provide one-on-one coaching services for university students on behalf of their university. So we are effectively providing mentoring to new students to help them manage the transition from high school to college on behalf of universities. Discussion of Challenge So my first job was as a player-coach on a new team at Inside Track that was providing a coaching service for students who were in the application process. I was responsible for both providing the service and also running a small team. We were improving the application yield for our client, which meant that – for all the people who had applied, they were more getting more people starting than they had with others, which was effectively paying for our services many times over. So from their point of view, it was a very effective and successful service, and they asked us to expand the service. So, we effectively tripled the amount of work that we were going to be responsible for over the course of about two weeks. So we went from three of us to 10 of us, and I went from being a player-coach to just being the manager of this team. I was now a little bit removed. I was not hearing everything that was going on. I couldn't see everything that was going on. I didn't get to spend nearly as much time with any individual member of the team as I had been able to before. And about a month in, when we started to get our first forecast on where we were going to be, I realized that I had a few people on my team who were performing really well. I had a bunch of people on my team who were in the middle. You know? They – it looked good, but not great, and then I had a few people that were not performing that well at all. And so when you summed it all up, the forecast looked like we were not going to be hitting our benchmark, and performing nearly as well as we had been before. Page 1 of 3 Discussion of Decision I came to realize that my teammates – and I still use that word, "teammates," but, you know, in fact, they weren't necessarily my teammates. They were my team. You know? They were kind of my subordinates. They were not uniformly capable. They were not uniformly, frankly, motivated to succeed in the same sort of intrinsic way that I was. They were not looking, necessarily, for an achievement that would allow them to build a foundation to take the next step. You know? In a lot of cases, they just treated this as a job, and it was a job that allowed them to have the rest of their life, but it didn't have nearly the meaning in it that mine did. And that was tricky, because all of a sudden I now had to begin to appreciate the fact that there were very different expectations, you know, one person to another, about what represented good work, what represented realistic expectations. And I had to realize that there were really different reasons that people were there and ways that they could be motivated. All of a sudden, my job started looking a lot more complicated. For my strongest people, I could comfortably set, you know, a bar that was 30 percent higher than my weakest people and still be hitting the level that I needed to be at over time, and rewards needed to follow that. You know, I needed to be providing more visibility and more opportunity for the people who were at the top and achieving more and actually really kind of pulling the team. And I needed to be providing a different kind of, you know, resource for the people who were at the bottom who, you know, either needed some sanctioning, you know, and needed to be called to task for not doing the things they said they were going to do, or I needed to be looking for ways to improve their skills. Another thing that I did, because the nature of the work was such that it was similar person to person but everybody was dealing with different individual cases, so everybody's group of students was a little bit different, was to have a daily team meeting. So, very short. I mean, we might get together for 20 minutes. But we'd get together every day so that people could have a little bit of time to vent any frustrations that they had, have a little bit of time to ask questions of the team. I had to get a lot better at sanctioning people, and that was really hard. That was very, very hard for me because I was so used to being able to be positive, and now all of a sudden I had to try to start being negative. Or – not necessarily negative, but I had to be critical, a lot more critical than I had been. The only just thing to do – at least to start, because I wasn't going to just fire these people right away – was to set a standard that seemed fair and seemed realistic and explain it as such and explain to them that this was the minimum standard. You know, we are going to provide you with the following Page 2 of 3 resources, and we are going to provide you with a peer tutor or a peer coach. I am going to spend extra time with you, but you are going to – you have got to understand that this is the minimum, and there are other people on the team who are actually working at a higher standard. And that is where you ought to be. That is where you can be. We believe you can be there. If you cannot get there and you cannot do it in the next six weeks, well then the consequence is that this is not going to – it is not going to work out. It is not going to be a good place for you. Discussion of Results Of the underperformers – let's say there were four. You know, you have a team of 10. There were three that were clear underperformers and maybe one that was on the margin. One left just through natural attrition, was not happy. And she left pretty quickly. One left after about three more months, just clear that the company wasn't the right fit. The other two actually worked out. You know, one never became a great performer, although he was able to meet the standard and get a little bit above it. And one turned out to be, you know, a really solid performer and has stayed with the company, been a very successful coach for, you know, the past four years, since that time. Lessons Learned It is not sufficient to assume that people are intrinsically motivated, that they all want to achieve, that they are the kind of high-performers that places like Stanford Business School tend to collect. Just not true, and to be an effective manager, I had to be realistic about that and not try to sort of imagine that these people could all become sort of like me. So that was a big lesson. Another big lesson: it is really bad when you let poor performance persist or you let a bad apple stay in the group and just rot. That was something I did not appreciate right away. I understood what it was doing to my goal, which was effectively the team goal, and that was a problem and I was addressing it, but I did not understand right away that it was actually – having people who were not performing and having people who did not have a very good attitude or were complaining was actually hurting the attitude of the group. And I would actually have people in those one-on-one meetings that I would have with them every week say, "Hey, what's going on with so-and-so?" I mean, that is what I came to understand was their way of saying, “You’ve got to look into this, 'cause this is taking my attention. Please address it.” Page 3 of 3
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