Friday, January 24, 2014

Community Leader Interview

When deciding what leader I wanted to interview for this blog post, a various number of individuals came to mind. Whether it be my family friend who is owns a patent law firm or a church friend who is in charge of teaching essential leadership skills in his company. I settled on my team supervisor, someone I'm almost in daily contact with and someone that has really showed true traits of leadership.

But just a little background on him first. His name is Adrian, and his job in the company is to turn around decaying stores and revive them. He has been with the company for years and is the most hard working and responsible supervisor in the Texas division of Staples. The main thing he does is help motivates other employees to succeed and also to look at management skills and see how he can change the store and make it physically and mentally a better store for customers and employees a like.

The first thing I asked him was what trait stuck out to him the most. He said being responsible. In his line of work, responsibility is the most important trait because without any responsibility, the entire system collapses and no one is accountable for the work that's being done. A manager needs to be someone that gets the work done while at the same time being able to motivate the employees underneath him. That's what he said was the second most important trait, motivation and inspiration. If he is the only one with a vision and a dream for the store and is unable to motivate anyone or inspire anyone, then he is alone and will kick against unmotivated employees until they are replaced or are also motivated. He isn't afraid to tell his associates that if they can't be responsible, there's the door.

The next thing I asked was if there was one lesson or phrase that inspires you or that you would want other people to hear, what would it be? He laughed and said a wise person once told me that excuses are stepping stones for failure. That's what I would want people to hear. Occasionally over the headsets, you can hear him give a quote when an associate is complaining. 10 times out of 10 its that one.

I asked him later in the day if having multiple supervisors and managers impeded success and he said sometimes it can because everyone has their own leadership style. But, if one manager is more carefree and not as intense as another then work won't get done and than associates will get too comfortable with an easy going manager. He said that sometimes multiple leaders can be frustrating and can have the reverse effect on a store, leading to lazy and sloppy employees. I then asked if he had ever had conflict with other managers and how the employees and him handled that situation. Luckily, he had never had any conflicts with any other managers but said that the manager who is more successful will always have more followers.

The final question I asked Adrian was, how would you define success. He said that success in measured in how much time and energy someone put into what they wanted to succeed in. Passion was the most important thing to him.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for getting back to your posts, Oliver. This was a terrific opportunity for you to have access to someone at a job you have really enjoyed over the last two months. This manager has obviously made a strong impression on you and is having success in the Staples management team. Clearly, his gifts seem to be in bringing structure and a strong management hand to stores (and employees) which are struggling. The major weakness of your post (besides its lateness!) is that you did not translate his answers to concepts discussed in class. For example, he focus on responsibility and accountability connects back to the K & P trait of competence. Ultimately, a leader garners no credibility if he or she does not deliver - in other words if they do not build a track record of getting things done. This appears to be most important to your boss. These types of connections are key to making a good post and excellent one.