A leader is like a parent. One must always consider helping your followers to perform better. A story is said of this young manager whose company had many branches scattered throughout the country. She was the boss in charge of national operations. Every year, the company exhibits its products to the public using public forums available at the local level.
The company’s workplan captures all these exhibitions. Since money is disbursed from one central point, it is imperative that bosses at the HQ facilitates the field stations in terms of enquiring their needs, ensuring the requisitions are done on time, ensuring appropriate followups are done. All these are expected to be done in advance before the exhibition date.
There was this particular instance when time for this regional exhibition was due. The manager at the HQ was not busy since it was the beginning of the year and activities were just about to start. The officer on the ground sent the request for facilitation in good time but the officer at the HQ never bothered. Reminders were sent but no one bothered.
The field officer knew that he was expected to deliver a good exhibition for the company. He used his own money to make the exhibition colorful. He knew that since the activity was in the workplan, his money would be refunded one day. Hence he made the exhibition as colorful as the other companies did.
The boss from HQ learnt of the dates when the event was due. It seems she was busy elsewhere but abruptly learnt of this exhibition. One may querry what she was doing before. Being boss, she has to attend to represent the interests of the HQ and report on the same should need be. Afterall every visit is well facilitated and one may opt for cheap accommodation and save money, hence get richer. She organized for quick travel, and facilitation.
She joined the field officer for the exhibition, an activity she never facilitated. The field officer had not received any assistance from the HQ and the boss in charge was already at the site, demanding excellence in showcasing the company’s products.
A visit to the exhibition stand revealed to the HQ boss that all was not right. The stand was not up to the standard she expected. After exchanging pleasantries with the field officer, she heaped the blame on the company’s systems which she branded as slow, bureaucratic and insensitive. She spent most of her time visiting other exhibition stands and visiting and calling friends. Afternoons were especially memorable for sightseeing and just relaxing. After the allocated time was over, she returned to the HQ. She reported to everybody that the exhibition was successful.
Jog your mind
1. Argue the case of the field officer and the lady from HQ in terms of who demonstrates “leader” and “manager” qualities.
2. What could have been done better?