Leadership Article

Josephine Jones Leadership Article

 

Nawtej Dosanjh

12 February 2017

 

 

Josephine Jones is a senior leader who has achieved exemplary results in her role, leading a group of highly talented and educated individuals. True she took over an already successful team but she maintained and exceeded the results of her predecessor. Having come into this role without any senior management experience, what is her secret?

 

By all accounts Josy is competitive, abrasive, combative, demanding and has real gravitas, with the all important external stakeholders. Her success is equally said to come from her attention to every detail, working to a high quality level over a significant period of time, and a zero tolerance for disruptive behaviors. Rather than sending any of her team, she has been known to have taken personal responsibility by directly confronting large groups of her customers, in very difficult circumstances and deftly taking control of the situation.

 

That said, and despite her popularity with external stakeholders, sources close to Josy have confided that is she less than popular with many of her internal stakeholders. Whilst her team respect her in the way that she handles customers, there is a general feeling that she is thinking about what is good for number one, rather than her team’s interests. Rumours of unhappiness with Josy’s leadership style have not subsided. Morale is low and accusations of micro-managing are commonplace.

 

Confusing and contradictory data points, which are seeming incompatible. How was it possible to achieve that success without the support of her team, if indeed that was the case, or where the rumours a conspiracy of the one or two who shout loudest? It seems that there is not a single answer, but three answers: Firstly her team has been a high performing one for several years, and they were not suddenly going to do a bad job; secondly the opinions were not universally held, certainly to that extreme; and finally it appears that Josy’s leadership style, of command and control, is exactly what is needed for the specific situational context of her role. It is open question as to whether Josy could adapt her leadership style if the context changed.

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