Leadership and Management

Case Study

Performance Readiness® can be quickly diagnosed by combining the indicators of ability and willingness into a single “performance

readiness level.” You must first decide if the individual is able (presently performing) or unable (presently not performing) to perform a

specific task or activity. From there, you must determine if the individual is willing or unwilling to perform the specific task or

activity, and if s/he is confident or insecure regarding task/activity performance. After you have assessed these areas, you are ready to

diagnose performance readiness. After determining readiness level, you are able to ascertain what leadership style to utilize.

Apply your knowledge of the Situational Leadership Model to the answer the following questions about employees and supervisor at Listo


Part 1: The New Security System – Buying In

Three of Cami Machado’s team members are discussing the implementation of a new “black box” security system.

The first team member, Stefan, has just begun to get comfortable with the “old” system and is bewildered at the prospect of having to

start all over again. He mentions to the others that he is thinking about applying for a transfer to the customer service department where

all he will have to do is talk with customers on the phone.

The second team member, Angie, was describing how Listo Systems has lost a key client due to a hacking incident. Although she does not

know how to fix the problem, she knows the benefits of fixing it. The black box technology is foreign to Angie, but she says she is a

quick learner. She is eager to do “whatever is necessary to keep our customers happy and me employed.”

The third team member, Erika, a recent hire from a large software company, has extensive experience with “black box” technology and

security systems. She tells the others, “Once we get this system in place you’ll wonder how we got away with the old, antiquated

equipment. We’re going to be able to do business with a whole new segment of the market now.”

What is Stefan’s Performance Readiness® level for working with the black box technology (R1, R2, R3, or R4)?Why?

What is Angie’s Performance Readiness® level for working with the black box technology (R1, R2, R3, or R4)?Why?

What is Erika’s Performance Readiness® level for working with the black box technology (R1, R2, R3, or R4)?Why?

Part 2:Lashonda McCoy, Office Manager,Listo Systems

For six years, Lashonda McCoy has been an office manager with Listo Systems, and has experienced the ups and downs of the growing company.

A longtime valued employee of Listo Systems, Lashonda has been assigned the task of running the new customer satisfaction survey program

by the incoming management team.

Although she doesn’t completely understand the new program, Lashonda is excited about the way it has been structured by management, and

believes that it will improve relations with their customers. She doesn’t yet know how all the parts of the program will fit together, but

feels confident about her ability to succeed with new challenges.

What is Lashonda’s Performance Readiness® for running the new customer service survey (R1, R2, R3, or R4)? Explain.

What leadership style should be used to match Lashonda’s Performance Readiness® level (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

What would this leadership style look like?

Part3: Cami Machado – Data Security System Conversion

After months of careful planning, training, upgrading, and installation of the “black boxes,” Cami and her team are ready to switch over

to the new data security system. Cami had taken the system through all the recommended tests plus a few creative ones that she developed.

The “black boxes” performed perfectly. A former CIA computer specialist hired to randomly test the system declared that it was flawless.

Still, despite the manufacturer’s assurance that the changeover was a routine and simple process, Cami had insisted that they leave the

old system in place “just in case” (In the days before the changeover she grew anxious and was sleeping only a few hours a night.).

Minutes before the big switch, she confides to her boss that she has never felt so nervous in her life.

What is Cami’s Performance Readiness® for the task of switching from the old security system to the new black box technology (R1, R2, R3,

or R4)?

What leadership style should be used to match Cami’s Performance Readiness® (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

What would this leadership style look like?

Part 4:Kelly Fontane, Administrative Supervisor,
Listo Systems

Kelly Fontane has worked with Listo Systems for many years. Her procedure for training new office staff begins with having them answer the

telephone and file. When she feels that they are ready, she teaches them to encode checks and deposit forms with the magnetic numbering

required for computer processing. One of her employees, Julene Garfield, is ready to make the transition from telephones and filing to


Kelly began by telling Julene that she was very pleased with her work to date, and that she would like her to try something new. After

explaining the transition of responsibilities, Kelly checked for understanding and buy-in. Julene was pleased and just a little excited

about the new job responsibility. Kelly then sat down with Julene at a station and showed her how to encode with the help of a job aid.

Julene was not one to underestimate the complexity of the task and expressed concern about her slow progress. Julene was concerned with

committing errors, as she had not performed this task previously. Kelly reassured Julene, telling her that a more experienced worker would

be assigned to answer questions and that she would also be available as needed. Julene was happy with this solution.

What is Julene’s Performance Readiness® level for the task of encoding (R1, R2, R3, or R4)?

Which leadership style was Kelly using (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

Why might Kelly have been using this particular leadership style?

Part 5: Raul Martinez, Graphic Design Supervisor,
Listo Systems

Raul Martinez, a graphic design supervisor for Listo Systems, is considering some new methods for increasing productivity among his staff.

Productivity is already high, but he thinks it can be even higher. His group has been making suggestions about some areas in which they

would like to see improvement, but they are apprehensive about making changes. In the past, the group has shown flexibility in its

operation. Raul decides to approach the new methods by participating with the group in developing the changes, but allowing the members to

organize the change.

What is the group’s performance readiness level for the task of production in the graphic design department (R1, R2, R3, or R4)?

What leadership style would best match the group’s performance readiness level (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

What leadership style is Raul using (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

What are indicators that Raul is using the appropriate role?

What are potential hindering roles that Raul could be using if there is a performance readiness/style mismatch?

Part 6: Michelle Hoffman, Director of Market Research,
Listo Systems

With very little direction or involvement from her, Michelle Hoffman’s market research group has been performing well. Interpersonal

relations are good among the group. Michelle feels that although the group is performing well with minimal direction, their performance

could be even better. Michelle calls a meeting to explain her step-by-step plan for improving the group’s performance and to get the

group’s reaction to the plan. During the meeting, she asks if the group needs any clarification.

What is the group’s Performance Readiness® level for the task of doing market research (R1, R2, R3, or R4)?

What leadership style would best match the group’s Performance Readiness® level (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

What leadership style is Michelle using (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

Part 7: Yuki Tanaka, Sales Supervisor, Listo Systems

Yuki Tanaka supervises a unit of sales representatives at Listo Systems. Recently, there have been problems. Customers have complained

that her sales reps are not completing invoice orders quickly enough. Other daily tasks have also been neglected and performance numbers

have shown a steep decline.

Yuki called the sales representatives into a meeting and listed the problems that were occurring. After limited discussion, she reminded

them that their unresponsiveness and omissions could result in major financial hardships for the company through a loss of sales and

customers. She reviewed the schedule for daily tasks and invoice procedures. She added that she would be monitoring the invoices and daily

tasks and would follow-up on any complaints from customers in the next week by meeting with the sales representative responsible for that


What are some of Yuki ’s actions that indicate task behavior?

Is Yuki ’s level of task behavior high or low?

Which of Yuki ’s actions indicated relationship behavior?

Is Yuki ’s level of relationship behavior high or low?

Which leadership style was Yuki using (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?

Did Yuki ’s leadership style match what was needed in the situation? Why or wh