Tim Puts His Charisma Online
Tim is the sales manager at a national auto parts supplier. Among the many accounts his company serves are small auto supply stores, service stations, repair shops, supermarkets, and small retailers. Tim has a staff of fifteen external sales representatives, as well as five internal sales specialists who deal with online and telephone sales. The auto parts supply business is highly competitive, with most of the competition providing equally good parts and service. The personal touch therefore becomes quite important in gaining sales. Providing good service—such as refilling orders on frequently purchased parts and delivering on time—is essential. Tim also believes that inspiring the sales staff is vital in gaining a competitive edge. He notes, “If I inspire my sales reps, they will do a better job of building relationships with their customers. If I inspire the reps to sell more and better, they might inspire their customers to buy more parts and supplies from us.” Tim reasoned that his attempts to inspire and motivate the sales staff were working fairly well, but improvement was needed. When appropriate, he sees members of his staff in person, phones them, and sends out frequent voice mails and text messages. Yet Tim thought that he could do more: “I have been described as charismatic by my boss and several friends. Maybe I could get a bigger bang out of my charisma, if I made better use of the social media to inspire my staff.” Tim decided that for the next month he would post inspiring messages on the Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn pages of all the members of his sales staff, including the internal staff. Tim would also post the same messages on his own pages. Six of Tim’s postings designed to project his charisma and inspire the staff were as follows: • The only limits we have are those we impose on ourselves. • If you are still breathing, maybe it’s not such a bad day after all. • I want to wake up the inner greatness in each and every one of you. • If not you, who? • Welcome every rejection. It means you are one step closer to a Yes. • The harder you try, the luckier you get. Tim received fewer responses than he anticipated, but a few sales representatives thanked him for the positive ideas.
ASSOCIATED ROLE PLAY One student plays the role of Tim who one morning during a work break sits down with two of his direct reports for an informal chat. Tim wants to find out in person if he is inspiring the group with his social media posts. Two other students play the role of direct reports who tend to think that Tim’s posts are mostly a waste of time because they would rather receive information about more directly work-related topics. Yet being good office politicians, the two workers do not want to offend Tim. Observers will look to see how well the direct reports attain their goal without being insensitive toward their boss.
- How effective are Tim’s postings for showing his charisma?
- How effective are the social media posts in improving Tim’s impressions as a leader?
- What tips can you take from the case study and the Reading for showing your charisma in social media postings?
- How does this case study add to or change your thoughts on leadership?
- What ideas from the case study will you add to your leadership profile?
350 words min.