Saint Leo University Leadership Case Study Discussion

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Saint Leo University

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Post your Leadership Case Problem answers to either Case A or B of Chapter 9 to the Discussion Board. Follow the Case Study Format that is provided to you in Doc Sharing. You should fully analyze the case studies by first identifying the key issues and likely root causes before you attempt to answer the questions in the textbook associated with each case study.

Include the following headings

key issues

contributory factors

root causes

solutions

advantages

disadvantages

final suggestions

Answer the questions at the end of each case.

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Key Issues: The school district in which Mary Briggs is the superintendent is under siege; not from teachers, parents, or students, but from lack of leadership. Superintendent Briggs is more worried about a future vision than she is in solving the problems that will hopefully someday make that vision come true. Contributory Factors: • • • • • • • • • Mary Briggs is the superintendent of schools of a city school district comprised of more than sixty schools, including pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools. This is a lot of schools for only one person to oversee. Fewer than 50 percent of the students graduate from high school, and only about 10 percent of the high school graduates are considered ready for college or employment. The local press, many parent groups, and the office of the mayor voice frequent complaints about the low performance of the city schools. Some people blame the teachers and the school principals for the problems. Others blame the parents and the neighborhood influences for the problems. Still others blame the problems of the school district on Superintendent Briggs When Superintendent Briggs was recently asked by a School Board Member about the most important part of her job, she responded about visions for the future and not about immediate problems within the district. During the workday, school principals and vice principals often send Briggs e-mails asking her advice for dealing with an immediate problem, but it usually takes about twenty-four hours to receive a response. Some principals or vice principals will attempt to get through to her on the telephone, but it just goes to voicemail. However, some calls get through to Superintendent Briggs’ assistant and they are told, Sorry, Superintendent Briggs is busy creating visions today. So she cannot talk with you unless this problem is a total emergency. Superintendent Briggs is busy creating visions today, has become a punch line for many jokes among principals, vice-principals, and teachers. The Root Cause: The root cause of the district having so many problems cannot simply be solved by a Superintendent because it takes everyone including parents, teachers, and principals working together to get the job done. However, having a Superintendent that is so obviously unconnected with the problems of her principals and schools is the main issue. Principals are in charge of their schools but need a leader to be able to count on and Superintendent Briggs has very much let them down in the leadership department. She is only worried about future visions for the district and has overlooked that to achieve these visions, immediate problems have to be fixed first. Solutions: First of all, the Superintendent needs to remember that the School Board are ultimately her boss and she has to answer to them. There needs to be a serious “Come to Jesus” meeting between the President and Vice President of the School Board with Superintendent Briggs. They need to make her understand that to achieve her visions for the district that immediate problems have to be taken care of first. The views of the principals of the district need to be discussed so that she gets the entire picture of the district. It seems like Superintendent Briggs has almost lost her hold on reality with where the district actually is compared to what she believes it to be. This is where the School Board needs to make her see. If this doesn’t work, then another Superintendent search needs to begin. Superintendent Briggs may be the boss of the school district, but her ultimate boss is the School Board and she answers to them. Advantages: When a district has a poor superintendent, it doesn’t mean that all schools will fail. The leadership of the principal at each school is the ultimate tell-tell in how a school performs. If a principal backs his/her teachers, is able to deal with parent concerns, and is able to stand alone without backing from the superintendent, then that school will succeed. A strong principal that is able to hire strong teachers, and knows exactly what is going on in his/her school, is a MAJOR asset. That is one advantage when there is a poor superintendent in charge of a district. Disadvantages: The disadvantages of having a superintendent with poor leadership abilities is that the principals of the different schools are not able to work together. They must become their own island in order to survive in an educational world. Although some principals in a district will be strong leaders, all leaders need support. When that support breaks down then the entire district will eventually as well. A Superintendent that will not listen to his/her own principals when they are pleading for help is definitely no leader. An agenda is nice to have in a perfect world, but education is about children and in that capacity, there is no perfect world. A superintendent needs to be able to see this and be willing to work with whomever needs it as well as be able to solve immediate issues when they arise. This is not happening with Superintendent Briggs. Final Suggestions: I would suggest the following: 1. There needs to be a serious “Come to Jesus” meeting between the President and Vice President of the School Board with Superintendent Briggs. They need to make her understand that to achieve her visions for the district that immediate problems have to be taken care of first. The views of the principals of the district need to be discussed so that she gets the entire picture of the district. 2. If this doesn’t work, then another Superintendent search needs to begin. Superintendent Briggs may be the boss of the school district, but her ultimate boss is the School Board and she answers to them. Questions: 1. As a strategic leader, what error might Mary Briggs be making? Clear and simple not listening to both her employees and her bosses. While having vision for the future is an important trait of leadership it is only one piece of the leadership pie. Superintendent Briggs must be able to develop more of a multi-level and strategic leadership plan to solve ALL problems within the district, both for the future as well as for the moment at hand to be successful. If she cannot develop solutions for both aspects of the issues within her district then she should hire an assistant to help work within the areas she fails or dislikes. One should ALWAYS hire their weaknesses in business and clearly Superintendent Briggs has some weaknesses. DuBrin (2016) explains knowledge management as where one deals with cultural focus and managing the knowledge. While Briggs seems to be strong in developing the knowledge she is lost in the dissemination as well as the application of this knowledge. 2. To what extent should a school superintendent be spending more time on strategy than optional problems? Each leader will have they’re on balance of strengths and weaknesses. Mundia (2016) explains how more of the most important aspects of leadership is to define a clear and precise strategic plan for the future. Clearly Superintendent Briggs enjoys strategic planning, which is great, but not the application part. She should either find a balance between future vision and supporting the current staff or hire someone who can assist her. As stated above the Superintendent should show strong support to their principals and general staff within the district, without this leadership schools will work independent of each other and not as a group. While one school might succeed others would fail, leading to the ultimate failure of the district. A strong superintendent allows for all moving parts of the district to work fluidly and smoothly together, then and only then will success be reached. While planning is a wonderful thing, paying attention to the current issues is just as wonderful. Neglecting one of these issues will cause ripples within the ranks which by default will cause the collapse of the system. 3. What advice might you offer Briggs to enhance her leadership image in her school district? Hire her weaknesses! Find people to solve for the problems she either cannot figure out a solution or dislikes the overall subject. Delegate more effectively. Explain to the school board her issues, but bring a solution to the issues at the same time. Develop positive solution for both future and current issues with solid and experienced methods which the School Board and employees would both support and understand. Develop a better communication chain between both the school board as well as the principals and employees and work on having a better public image within the district. Explain what vision for the future can do for the district as well as solving the issues at hand. Reference: DuBrin, A. J. (2016). The nature and importance of leadership. Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice (Custom Version 2e ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Mundia, L., Shahrill, M., Jaidin, J. H., Jawawi, R., & Mahadi, M. A. (2016). Brunei's teacher education programs: insights into students' coping and help-seeking strategies to challenges. International Journal Of Mental Health Systems, 101-11. doi:10.1186/s13033-0160091-5 Key Issues: The school district in which Mary Briggs is the superintendent is under siege; not from teachers, parents, or students, but from lack of leadership. Superintendent Briggs is more worried about a future vision than she is in solving the problems that will hopefully someday make that vision come true. Contributory Factors: • • • • • • • • • Mary Briggs is the superintendent of schools of a city school district comprised of more than sixty schools, including pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools. This is a lot of schools for only one person to oversee. Fewer than 50 percent of the students graduate from high school, and only about 10 percent of the high school graduates are considered ready for college or employment. The local press, many parent groups, and the office of the mayor voice frequent complaints about the low performance of the city schools. Some people blame the teachers and the school principals for the problems. Others blame the parents and the neighborhood influences for the problems. Still others blame the problems of the school district on Superintendent Briggs When Superintendent Briggs was recently asked by a School Board Member about the most important part of her job, she responded about visions for the future and not about immediate problems within the district. During the workday, school principals and vice principals often send Briggs e-mails asking her advice for dealing with an immediate problem, but it usually takes about twenty-four hours to receive a response. Some principals or vice principals will attempt to get through to her on the telephone, but it just goes to voicemail. However, some calls get through to Superintendent Briggs’ assistant and they are told, Sorry, Superintendent Briggs is busy creating visions today. So she cannot talk with you unless this problem is a total emergency. Superintendent Briggs is busy creating visions today, has become a punch line for many jokes among principals, vice-principals, and teachers. The Root Cause: The root cause of the district having so many problems cannot simply be solved by a Superintendent because it takes everyone including parents, teachers, and principals working together to get the job done. However, having a Superintendent that is so obviously unconnected with the problems of her principals and schools is the main issue. Principals are in charge of their schools but need a leader to be able to count on and Superintendent Briggs has very much let them down in the leadership department. She is only worried about future visions for the district and has overlooked that to achieve these visions, immediate problems have to be fixed first. Solutions: First of all, the Superintendent needs to remember that the School Board are ultimately her boss and she has to answer to them. There needs to be a serious “Come to Jesus” meeting between the President and Vice President of the School Board with Superintendent Briggs. They need to make her understand that to achieve her visions for the district that immediate problems have to be taken care of first. The views of the principals of the district need to be discussed so that she gets the entire picture of the district. It seems like Superintendent Briggs has almost lost her hold on reality with where the district actually is compared to what she believes it to be. This is where the School Board needs to make her see. If this doesn’t work, then another Superintendent search needs to begin. Superintendent Briggs may be the boss of the school district, but her ultimate boss is the School Board and she answers to them. Advantages: When a district has a poor superintendent, it doesn’t mean that all schools will fail. The leadership of the principal at each school is the ultimate tell-tell in how a school performs. If a principal backs his/her teachers, is able to deal with parent concerns, and is able to stand alone without backing from the superintendent, then that school will succeed. A strong principal that is able to hire strong teachers, and knows exactly what is going on in his/her school, is a MAJOR asset. That is one advantage when there is a poor superintendent in charge of a district. Disadvantages: The disadvantages of having a superintendent with poor leadership abilities is that the principals of the different schools are not able to work together. They must become their own island in order to survive in an educational world. Although some principals in a district will be strong leaders, all leaders need support. When that support breaks down then the entire district will eventually as well. A Superintendent that will not listen to his/her own principals when they are pleading for help is definitely no leader. An agenda is nice to have in a perfect world, but education is about children and in that capacity, there is no perfect world. A superintendent needs to be able to see this and be willing to work with whomever needs it as well as be able to solve immediate issues when they arise. This is not happening with Superintendent Briggs. Final Suggestions: I would suggest the following: 1. There needs to be a serious “Come to Jesus” meeting between the President and Vice President of the School Board with Superintendent Briggs. They need to make her understand that to achieve her visions for the district that immediate problems have to be taken care of first. The views of the principals of the district need to be discussed so that she gets the entire picture of the district. 2. If this doesn’t work, then another Superintendent search needs to begin. Superintendent Briggs may be the boss of the school district, but her ultimate boss is the School Board and she answers to them. Questions: 1. As a strategic leader, what error might Mary Briggs be making? Clear and simple not listening to both her employees and her bosses. While having vision for the future is an important trait of leadership it is only one piece of the leadership pie. Superintendent Briggs must be able to develop more of a multi-level and strategic leadership plan to solve ALL problems within the district, both for the future as well as for the moment at hand to be successful. If she cannot develop solutions for both aspects of the issues within her district then she should hire an assistant to help work within the areas she fails or dislikes. One should ALWAYS hire their weaknesses in business and clearly Superintendent Briggs has some weaknesses. DuBrin (2016) explains knowledge management as where one deals with cultural focus and managing the knowledge. While Briggs seems to be strong in developing the knowledge she is lost in the dissemination as well as the application of this knowledge. 2. To what extent should a school superintendent be spending more time on strategy than optional problems? Each leader will have they’re on balance of strengths and weaknesses. Mundia (2016) explains how more of the most important aspects of leadership is to define a clear and precise strategic plan for the future. Clearly Superintendent Briggs enjoys strategic planning, which is great, but not the application part. She should either find a balance between future vision and supporting the current staff or hire someone who can assist her. As stated above the Superintendent should show strong support to their principals and general staff within the district, without this leadership schools will work independent of each other and not as a group. While one school might succeed others would fail, leading to the ultimate failure of the district. A strong superintendent allows for all moving parts of the district to work fluidly and smoothly together, then and only then will success be reached. While planning is a wonderful thing, paying attention to the current issues is just as wonderful. Neglecting one of these issues will cause ripples within the ranks which by default will cause the collapse of the system. 3. What advice might you offer Briggs to enhance her leadership image in her school district? Hire her weaknesses! Find people to solve for the problems she either cannot figure out a solution or dislikes the overall subject. Delegate more effectively. Explain to the school board her issues, but bring a solution to the issues at the same time. Develop positive solution for both future and current issues with solid and experienced methods which the School Board and employees would both support and understand. Develop a better communication chain between both the school board as well as the principals and employees and work on having a better public image within the district. Explain what vision for the future can do for the district as well as solving the issues at hand. Reference: DuBrin, A. J. (2016). The nature and importance of leadership. Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice (Custom Version 2e ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Mundia, L., Shahrill, M., Jaidin, J. H., Jawawi, R., & Mahadi, M. A. (2016). Brunei's teacher education programs: insights into students' coping and help-seeking strategies to challenges. International Journal Of Mental Health Systems, 101-11. doi:10.1186/s13033-0160091-5
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Explanation & Answer

Attached.

Running head: LEADERSHIP CASE PROBLEM B

Leadership Case Problem B
Name
Institution
Professor
Course
Date

1

2

LEADERSHIP CASE PROBLEM B

Leadership Case Problem B

1. Key Issues
The dysfunctional office is the primary issue in the case study, whereby members don’t
have the confidence and desire to work as a team. For instance, marketing managers cannot work
comfortably in the open-plan office since it is noisy and disruptive. Another crucial issue is that
the CEO doesn’t know how to manage the open-office space.
2. Contributory Factors
Lack of management strategy for the open-plan office is a crucial contributory factor for
the issues since the office doesn’t provide a conducive working environment. Furthermore, the
office is not aligned with team expectations; thus, many members prefer working from home.
3. Root Causes
The CEO did not engage members in the decision-making process regarding the change.
He established the open-plan office without incorporating members’ opinions into the decision.
Therefore, the CEO could not meet members’ expectations. Hedge (2018) suggests that a
collaborative decision-making process allows each member to voice their opinions and share
ideas regarding the change.
4. Solutions
The CEO should empower the members and encourage them to work from the open-plan
office space by implementing policies to regulate disruptive behavior such as noise. More
importantly, the CEO must engage members in the decision-making process regarding policy
development. This way, members will adapt to the new working conditions and work towards the
company’s goals (Osborne & Hammoud, 2017).

3

LEADERSHIP CASE PROBLEM B

5. Advantages
When the CEO engages members in the decision-making process regarding policy
development for the open-plan...


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