leadership power and conflict

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eadership practices at CMA tend to be inconsistent throughout the company. Vice presidents (VPs) of the four divisions have unique ways of leading their employees; their styles resemble four classic leadership types: transactional, transformational, situational, and charismatic. In addition, staff has observed a lot of conflict between the VPs. You and Jared are meeting now to brainstorm ideas about how to address these issues.

“Do you think that various leadership styles cause problems in the company?” he asks. “Does this situation contribute to our lagging position in the market?”

“I’m not sure about that, but I’ll tell you, I have interviewed the VPs of each division and all of their managers now,” you say. “I agree that the leadership styles are very different, but I’m not convinced that it’s a problem.”

“Okay,” he says. “If not that, then what?”

“During my interviews,” you say, “I discovered that CMA doesn’t have a protocol in place for conflict resolution. I think this is a more serious situation and another opportunity for training and development. The VPs and managers would all benefit from this information.”

“Hmm,” he says. “I didn’t think about that.”

“Here’s what I propose. I can develop a session that addresses conflict. I can work with small groups in one-hour sessions.”

“I like that idea,” he says. “Give me something in writing—a paper of about 850 words—that describes what participants need to know about identifying the different types of conflict and the steps they can take to resolve it. I want to think about this some more.”

“No problem,” you say. “When do you want this?”

“I’ve got another business trip next week,” he says. “I’d like to take your paper on the plane to read. Can you e-mail it to me by end of day Friday?”

“Yes,” you say.

“Good,” he says. “Thanks.”

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