Good Getting To Know Willa Sheldon Case Study Example

Type of paper: Case Study

Topic: Leadership, Organization, People, Model, System, Company, Performance, Management

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2023/02/22

[Institution Title]


Organizations are constantly looking for individuals who would help them in achieving their goals and obligations. One way of delivering an organization’s objective is finding the right people who would serve as leaders and motivators. In the case of Tides Center they believed that the experience of Willa Seldon was what the organization needed. Nevertheless, Tides management made the common mistakes that organizations typically commit in looking for leaders. Among the qualifications that organizations look for in leaders is their educational accomplishments. Most organization equate character and competency with the reputation of the education institution attended by an individual. Others look at track record. Usually, leaders who are known for their excellent performance are pirated by other companies in the belief that these people bring with them an A game performance. Majority of organizations believe that employees can easily duplicate their performance from the other company, thereby, assuring the same success for their organization. Nevertheless, not all organizations have the same system, process and values. Other organizations may operate using a different system. Others have culture that are entirely different from the others making it impossible to exactly duplicate the same result from the previous. Nevertheless, organization still fall victim to misunderstanding the system and principle of leadership. Instead, they become shallowly focus on wanting to ensure optimal performance for the organization at all cost not considering the significant role of interpreting and analyzing the variables that may have significantly resulted to the success of a particular individual in assuring the success of their personal ventures and decisions. This paper describe the leadership model and approach that is evident in Willa Seldon’s leadership style. In addition, this paper will offer a critique of Sheldon’s leadership and offer an evaluation of this model in relation to the needs of the company.

Willa Seldon has an impressive resume that is backed with educational credentials and significant performance record and experiences. Seldon have held numerous positions in the past including a fifteen year track record of both local and international experience in venture capital, executive management and corporate development. Seldon’s impressive track record is encompassing. She has the capacity to efficiency and effectively adjust to all kinds of work environment beginning with startup corporations to multi-billion dollar industry. Sheldon’s accomplishments made here the most appealing candidates. However, most organizations tend to overlook the variables that actually contributed to the success of Sheldon. In the succeeding discussions it will review the leadership approach and model used by Seldon which actually contributed to her success which she could or could not bring to Tides Center. However, before discussing Seldon’s leadership approach, it is also just as crucial to understand the organizational culture and the attitudes of the people that makes up the management. This will decide whether Seldon’s leadership will actually work with Tides in helping deliver the projected growth and success in the strategic plan that Seldon specifically designed for Tides Center following the upsetting performance that the company has been making following an impressive growth in revenue and performance.

Organizational Culture at Tides Center

Tides Center is run by people who are very conservative. The kind of management that welcomed her when she came into the company in October 2003 as Executive Director . It was evident that the people from Tides were resistant to change. Similarly, the management believed that the new changes being introduced by Seldon is not exactly what the company needed. They believe that the strategies, including the system that is being proposed by Seldon is “anxiety-inducing and arduous to implement”. However, this analysis was based simply on argument that system proposed by Seldon would require intensive modification and reform. It would also require collaboration and performance readjustment. There would also be a need to develop a new system of processing data and business processes. Overall, it can be assess that the company was a tight-fit company that does not welcome change and reform very well. This is in fact, contrary to what Seldon had previously experienced with her other companies. In this case, Seldon saw that there were more issues to the organization than just having the need to develop and embrace a new system.

Seldon’s Leadership Approach

The organization’s approach to hiring Seldon was the typical approach that most organizations adapt—competency-based model. Tides Center saw Seldon based on her accomplishment from her previous jobs. Hence, they offered her one of the highest position in the company despite not having sufficient experience within the organization itself . Tides may have committed the common mistake organizations make in hiring a leader. Tides tend to reward technical accomplishments over aggregate contribute. Rewarding aggregate contribution would entail promoting an employee from within the organization who have sufficient knowledge, experience and understanding of the company . This is because such kind of employees have actually contributed to the growth of the organization regardless of how significant it is. However, hiring Seldon based on her reputation and accomplishments would rely on the leadership model known as competency-cased model because it capitalizes on the individual’s technical skills perhaps because she was a graduate of Yale Law and Harvard Business School. In addition, Seldon was hired based on her ability to raise the performance of her previous employment because of her abilities to actually deliver the expected growth from the organization.
In the case of Seldon, from her track record and her current concern regarding what to do with Tides in relation to the reaction of her co-employees and people from the management revealed that Seldon adapts the Managerial Grid Leadership Model. This type of leadership model embraces two types of leadership behaviors—the concern for the task at hand and the leader’s concern for the people . Seldon embraces this kind of leadership model. Seldon believes that a system, regardless of how strategically planned and developed will not be feasible unless the people who will implement the system are actually receptive of the change.
Seldon carefully weighs her options and takes into consideration the input of everyone working in the organization. The managerial grid values two behaviors: (a) consideration and (b) initiating structure . This kind of model integrate all kinds of leadership style depending on the specific needs of each of the members of the organization . Seldon accepts four kinds of framework or leadership behavior: (a) structural framework, (b) human resource framework, (c) political framework and (d) symbolic framework . If would analyze how Seldon reacted to the opposition, she was in fact willing to delay the implementation until every member of the organization is actually ready to accept the system. Seldon realizes that unless everyone is willing to partake in the initiates to reform the organization, none of the proposal can actually be feasible. However, included in the strategizing of process of Seldon was focusing on the organization’s value system and the previously implemented cycles that the organization adapted. He was a democratic leader who welcomes the inputs and opinion of others.
Similarly, Seldon also acknowledges that there is a timetable to ensure that the designed system would actually be feasible. Hence, Seldon carefully weighs her options and at the same time recognize that she actually has the power to enforce her decision to the team. Evident in the emails she has written that she was influenced by several people’s reaction towards the system of reform. Nevertheless, the type of leadership that Seldon wanted to showcase was that of a team leader. A team leader shows strengths in both task and people skills. A team leader sets by example and since Seldon wants everyone at Tides to listen to her that her proposal is actually what the organization needed. If she continues to oppose their suggestions and insights the people in the organization would naturally be hostile and defiant of her suggestions . Seldon believed that the best way to earn people’s trust and their approval is actually to listen to people. A team leader carefully takes the input of everyone and acts as their equal instead of capitalizing that they are powerful. Power is not generally a big factor for this type of leadership approach that Seldon exhibits for the people she manages at Tides Center. Coercive power is immaterial in this particular case for Seldon because she thinks it will not make a follower out of people if she insist without full acceptance. Rather, Seldon believed in the use of referent power in which if people respect the leader, they will follow not out of the idea of merely following.
Nevertheless, this particular approach of Seldon may be taken as a sign of weakness. Democratic kind of leadership may not necessarily be effective in the kind of working environment that is evident at Tides Center. One has to remember that Tides have a very conservative values. Any sign of softness might be taken as a sign of weakness. This is despite the fact that it was not the intention of Seldon. Seldon has to realize that she can be understanding and considerate of the views of her fellow workers. However, as an Executive Director she has the obligation to firmly enforce what is necessary. It might be that coercive power is necessary if the people from Tides continuously resist her proposal. Seldon has a reputation of being strategic. Therefore, she is much trained with task assigned to her. If she will not enforce this changes there will be missed opportunities.


In conclusion, it can be said the leadership model that an individual should adapt should must be appropriate with the organization’s dominant culture and values. In the case of Seldon, the use of democratic leadership style may not be too appropriate given the existing culture and values at Tides. The people from Tides would not recognize nor would they appreciate Seldon giving them the opportunity to conceptualize and accept the decision she has initially made. The kind of approach should be adequately fitted to the environment because it will help determine the amount of power and force that a leader should enforce within the organization. It should be remembered that too much of everything may not be good. In the case of Seldon shows that she is hesitant to enforce something that she thinks would work the people might see this as a sign of weakness. However, too much of coercive power might also be detrimental because the people might rebel of these kind of leadership. However, what could work in Seldon’s leadership model is that he allows people to see how they are valued. She also exhibit a strong people skills and task orientation and management.


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