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Interview With Juma Al Falasi, Case Study Example

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Case Study

Juma Ahmed BelGaizi AlFalasi is an Emirati leader who embodies the leadership qualities discussed in class. He graduated from American University Of Dubai in 3 years. He is 24 years old; now,  and he is working in Dubai Chamber Of Commerce. He earned a Bachelors in Finance and Banking between 2008 and 2011 from the American University in Dubai, AUD where he study extensively in all general business courses and covered financial courses that were mainly about international trading, fiscal and monetary policies banking. AlFalasi also received his High School Diploma Certificate in 2008, from Dubai National School, DNS. Since then, he has established himself as a sound and effective leader within his industry. Market studies finding out the global market pricing of raw materials to enhance higher management decisions (Q1).

In his professional career, AlFalasi learned how to scrap sale and find out the value of the scraped raw materials and resell it to regain the maximum value to minimize scrap loss achievements redesigned a full scrap sale process that was approved by MD, GMs, & Line managers to be documented and to be followed by the organization, and it was arround this time that he finished the “Graduate Trainee” program done by the UAE national development department.

When asked how he defines leadership, Juma Ahmed BelGaizi AlFalasi stated that he views leadership as the ability to inspire others to reach their full potential (Q7). He noted that in his experience working in the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Industry (DCCI), and the Dubai Cable Company (DUCAB), he worked with a variety of individuals and dealt with many situations where he was able to learn leadership skills from his supervisors (Q8).

AlFalasi provided further detail about his experiences with supervisors while working for the Chamber of Commerce in Dubai-Deira. He noted that in developing relationships with suppliers, in the act of introducing new suppliers, price negotiation, long relationship contracting, and tendering, he was able to see other managers and how they dealt with clients and he modeled himself after them. Through mastering the art of communicating sympathy, asking questions to identify customer needs and motivating team members to support these business to customer relationships to make them more effective, AlFalasi achieved significant accomplishments. He was able to restructure the procurement process to achieve 50% less lead time for approval. He developed strong relationships with fellow employees when he trained staff how to use the Oracle system to handle procurements. AlFalasi also noted through closely following his superiors and studying how they dealt with clients, he developed a talent for negotiations. He was able to enforce negotiations and achieved 100K AED savings in the first 6 months.

After a certain period of working at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, AlFalasi was granted special authority over contracts and an administrative role over staff and team projects. To meet objectives AlFalasi had to develop his own philosophy on leadership. He stated that his ability to motivate staff to reach their full potential stems from a strict adherence towards focusing on milestones by straying away from micro-management. AlFalasi noted that he believes in performance driven management and allowing people to focus on achieving goals and rewarding achievements as opposed to punishing shortcomings (Q14 & Q8). He learned this leadership method by watching his supervisors, specifically those who managed him early on in his work history when he worked at the Purchasing office in the Dubai Cable Company (DUCAB) and when he went through training programs (Q9). Some of the training programs which AlFalasi entered, and from which he gained valuable leadership knowledge, include Project planning and Execution where he was trained by meirc training & consulting, Effective Communication Skills where he was trained by the biz-ability training center, working with professional Ethics where he was trained by the Abercrombie training consultancy, Effective non-verbal communication skills where he was trained by business, and Sustainability strategies Master class where he was trained by the Arabia CSR Network.

AlFalasi noted that one of the training programs he found most beneficial was  TRIZ level 1 certificate “theory of innovative problem solving” by Dubai quality group in 2012. It was actually during this seminar that Alfalasi learned the skills necessary to deal with a challenging incident that occurred with one of his fellow employees. During the interview, AlFalasi provided detailed information about an incident that occurred between him and member of the accounting department named Maher. AlFalasi had been sanctioned to identify areas where the company could reduce expenditures in the budget in an attempt to isolate new funds to allocate for new investments. Maher was hired as the head of the accounting team responsible for this achieving this goal. The team was given two months to isolate the finds and an additional month to come up with suggestions for where the monies could be invested for aggressive growth. The team was organized by the head of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, but ordered to report to AlFalasi.

From the very start of the project there were complications with communication. During team meetings, Maher seemed short and brief with AlFalasi when he asked questions. It was clear that Maher did not find Alfalasi’s form of leadership to be effective. The interactions between Alfalasi and Maher developed into significant conflicts that began to interfere with the progress of the company (Q5). Then unexpectedly Maher stopped being difficult. He started to be more cooperative and his reports were more detailed and the communication between him and Alfalasi was much more fluid and constructive.

When Maher was first asked about AlFalasi’s leadership style, he stated that, “AlFalasai can be overbearing at times, and he has a tendency towards micro-managing. Sometimes I feel like he is always hanging over my shoulder monitoring my every move.”   When the other members of Maher’s team were asked about AlFalasi’s leadership style, they were all in agreeance that his style is more of a coaching style through exemplifying  strategic leadership. This is a style that focuses on managing the entire enterprise overall and influencing key organizational out-comes, like company wide performance, competitive superiority, innovation, strategic change, and survival (Q10). AlFalasai stated he took this approach due to the fact that the company was not meeting its objectives and placing the success of the company’s future at risk. AlFalasi perspective stated he was implementing his leadership philosophy hands on mentor-ship approach with the marketing team, but his newly acquired interest in improving the quality and reach of the companies brand could come across as micromanaging due to the pressure AlFalasi is facing in potentially losing his job(Q4). He does need to be conscious of the line between abusing his authority and taking proactive steps towards getting the company moving in the right direction.

In the analysis of the conflict with Maher, AlFalasi goes into greater detail about how he was able to turn Maher around noting that he sat down with Maher and spoke to him as an equal and questioned him about the issues that were resulting in mis-communication (Q15) during team meetings.  He stated, “One of the questions I asked Maher was whether he believed less communication would result in him doing his job more effectively, and this forced him to acknowledge there were aspects of the project in which he knew he was not most proficient but avoided my counsel for fear that I would micromanage ever aspect of the team’s work (Q13). He revealed to me that he had the feeling I was doubting his professional instincts. I assured him this was not the case and that I actually held him in high regard and was merely under pressure to produce top quality work.” AlFalasi later went on to explain that he recognized the rest of the team appreciated his method of mentorship but Maher required a different form of leadership one that entailed positive feedback and reassurance that his work was valued. He also stated that he was well aware the team meetings could not function without Maher going through an attitude adjustment. He stated that “At one point I told my supervisor Maher needs an attitude adjustment, or I need a new accounts manager”. He noted that while Maher may be good at accounting, he hadn’t demonstrated much leadership (Q6). He attributed this to the fact that Maher hadn’t produced any numbers, plans, or results to show him that he can help meet team objectives. He stated that Maher’s core problem was that he believed his level of experience makes him solely qualified to do the job without supervision. AlFalasi did however note that it’s understandable for Maher to disagree with his views but the problem was that he didn’t back up those objections with hard data. He communicated this to Maher during their 1 on 1 sit down and luckily for the two of them and the company it resulted in a dramatic improvement in their interactions and a successful new investment allocation portfolio for the company.

When asked how Alfalasi was able to turn Maher’s behavior around and get him on board with the team objective and goals of the company as a whole, he said Many of the tactics Maher should implement to better the interactions and working relationship he has with his boss can be found in Harry E. Chambers’s article surviving the Micromanager. How to succeed with a “my way” boss. In the article Chambers notes that people like Maher should not identify themselves as a victim and they should not focus on what they believe their circumstance should be but accept the conditions of their situation as is. Chambers states that there is a distinct difference from a victim and the employee of a micro-manager as “victims have no options,” but Maher has many options. He Chambers states that, “while the most extreme option is to quit, why not try to improve the situation before you pack up and go?” (Chambers, 2005). Chambers argues that micro-managers are everywhere, so even the extreme option of quitting could potentially result in Maher being in an even worse situation. He goes on to note that it’s best for workers to accept the situation for “what it is,” stating that “focusing on what your situation ‘should’ be saps energy and creativity. Instead, deal in the real world by looking at your situation for what it really is” (Chambers, 2005). The case demonstrates these two main factors of Maher viewing himself as a victim and focusing on how things should be as the main problems fueling the conflict between him and AlFalasi. The first example can be seen when Maher complains that AlFalasi can be overbearing. Maher states that he believes his instincts were good and that he feels AlFalasi was being unreasonable. It is clear that Alfalasi is under a lot pf pressure when he is placed in charge of the new project to identify investments and allocate funds, for the most part Maher disregards this and focuses less on what he can do for the company and more on his view of the ideal working environment to which he believes he is entitled (Q16).

Conclusion

In sum the best solution for Maher was to propose some evidence based leadership into his interactions with AlFalasi, while AlFalasi needed to be more conscious of how the pressure to perform might be impacting his management routine. Ultimately, AlFalasi is the one who had his job on the line and his success was directly tied into the success of the company, specifically Maher’s team. If he felt Maher had an agenda outside the success of the company, it might have been best for him to fire Maher. Maher on the other hand needed to come to grips with the challenge that has been set before him and rise to the occasion. The real issue the case revealed is that Maher was providing no solutions for the job’s problems and he focused his energy primarily on objections to AlFalasi’s suggestions in defense of his own work. AlFalasi demonstrated exceptional leadership by talking to Maher as an equal and listening to his concerns, then asking him questions that forced Maher to realize the error in his ways (Q17).

References

Chambers, H. (2005, Summer). Surviving the Micromanager. How to succeed with a my way boss. Canadian Manager, 30(2), 24-25. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database.

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