NJIT Effective Organizational Leadership & the Block Leadership Approach Essay

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An Impossible Dream?


Allen Block was responsible for the technical implementation of the new customer relationship management (CRM) software in Los Angeles and Chicago. The software was badly needed to improve follow-up sales for his company, Exert Systems. Exert sold exercise equipment to high schools and colleges, as well as to small and midsized businesses for recreation centers, through a national force of 310 salespeople. The company’s low prices won a lot of sales; however, follow-up service was uneven and the new CRM system promised to resolve those problems with historical data, inquiries, reminders, and updates going to sales reps daily. The CEO of Exert ordered the CRM system installed with all possible haste. Block currently had four members in the team working on this project: two in Los Angeles and two in Chicago. On his way to Chicago from Los Angeles, Block kept on thinking about what was wrong with his team. The guys in LA seemed to be focusing tirelessly on work, alternating work with joking around. His team members in Chicago appeared to be alternating between bickering and avoiding one another. Block kept receiving persistent complaints about his team members’ productivity from his boss Zequine Mansell. All through his flight, Block kept on thinking about the reasons for this low productivity and lack of passion among his team members. Block also started fearing that this would ruin his dreams of replacing his boss Mansell, after her retirement.

1. How would you characterize Block’s leadership approach (task versus people)? What approach do you think is correct for this situation? Why?
2. What would you do now if you were Block? How might you awaken more enthusiasm in your team for completing this project on time? Specify the steps you would take.
3. How would you suggest that Block modify his leadership style if he wants to succeed Mansell in two years? Be specific.

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