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Business Manager, Interview Example

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Interview

I chose to interview John, the store manager of a Target Supercenter in Brooklyn for this assignment. John told me that he started as a cashier about fifteen years ago and rose through the ranks to become a store manager. John’s career track within the company indicates that the company’s culture emphasizes promotion from within and on merit rather than seniority. John also told me that his leadership style is democratic because it is not possible for him to keep track of every aspect of the store’s operations. He tries to take advantage of the experiences, insights, and knowledge of everyone from senior supervisors to sales clerks to make effective decisions. In addition, his leadership style also makes everyone feel important and motivates them to maintain high performance standards. In terms of organizational culture, John said that the company believes in making all stakeholders feel important whether they are customers, employees, shareholders, or even the communities. John claimed that Target pays better wages and benefits to its employees than its closest rival Wal-Mart and the company also has a longstanding tradition of giving 5 percent of its annual income to community programs.

John said he has narrow span of control because he believes that too much control introduces inefficiencies, especially in large businesses and moreover, he has trust in the ability of his subordinates to understand and perform their roles effectively. This also indicates that John subscribes to McGregor’s Theory Y because he believes that his subordinates can take responsibility and are motivated to excel at their work. Describing his leadership philosophy, John claimed that a leader should have trust in his subordinates not only when they perform well but also when they may be struggling which is why he always tell everyone to come to him whenever they may have a problem. John believes that good personal relationships among employees are productive and inspire employees to go an extra length to help each other with their work.

John informed that his leadership style has been influenced by his mentor as well as the first store manager he worked under after joining Target whose name was Sherry. Sherry would always treat everyone as family and thus, no one hesitated to let Sherry know if there may be a problem or someone had come with a good idea to improve operations. In addition, Sherry would always give credit where it would be due and take the blame even if it were a subordinate’s fault. As a result, all employees loved Sherry and the Target store under Sherry’s supervision was one of the best performing stores in the region. John said that Sherry showed him that referent power is far more effective than legitimate or coercive power in leadership positions and he tries to replicate Sherry’s leadership style as much as possible because there is nothing wrong in emulating someone you admire.

John says that the compensation plan takes into account the feedback from everyone including co-workers, superiors, and subordinates and that even applies to him also. John says he wants his subordinates to not only excel in individual capacity but also as team members. He told me he has fired employees who were high performers but didn’t get along well with others because the success of organizations today depends a great deal upon how everyone works together to achieve organizational objectives.

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