Free «The Leadership Style of Sergeant Durwood Wentworth:Case Study 2A» Essay Paper
1) What is the leadership style Sergeant Durwood Wentworth is using to fulfill his basic supervisory responsibilities? Is it effective in this police organization?
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The leadership style of Sergeant Durwood Wentworth can be described as affiliative. The style creates bonds of emotional nature that brings a sense of belongingness to the work setup. In this style, subordinates need to come first and work best when employees are in a stressful period, in a trauma or when a supervisor and subordinates are required to build trust among each other (Germain 34). The aim of the style is to increase harmony, morale, and communication at the workplace. However, the leadership style should not be used solely because the nurturing nature of this style could lead to mediocre performance from employees and misdirection of employers. Affiliative leadership style can be observed in Sergeant Durwood Wentworth when after noticing deteriorating performance from officer Guolde, the sergeant tries to discuss the cause of the problem with the officer only for the officer to be resistant (Hargreaves, and Fink 58). It shows the intent of the sergeant to create an emotional bond with Guolde with the aim of discussing the problem and possibly leading to a solution.
The sergeant does not give up on finding out officer Goulde’s problem, and assigns another supervisor with the purpose of looking at the officer’s problem from another angle. The Sergeant Durwood Wentworth’s style of leadership is not effective because after all efforts he makes to understand and improve the performance of the officer, including personally talking to him, the officer’s behavior does not change considerably. However, even if the officer’s behavior does not change, the leadership style of the sergeant helps to identify the cause of the officer’s problem, which is known after assigning another supervisor, Sergeant Alfred Katz. The main cause of poor performance of officer Goulde was stress that led to drg consumption (Hargreaves, and Fink 74). Identifying the problem of Goulde formed the basis of determining the best possible way to help the officer.
2) What specific leadership traits does Sergeant Durwood Wentworth have?
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Firstly, Sergeant Durwood Wentworth is optimistic. The trait is portrayed by his persistence on knowing the root cause of poor performance of officer Goulde even after the officer put him off when they were talking. The sergeant was optimistic in finding out his officer’s problems to an extent of using another approach by assigning Goulde to another supervisor for observation. Secondly, the sergeant is social and communicative. These traits are well outlined when after identifying deteriorating performance by one of his officers, he takes the initiative of speaking with him and when the talk turns fruitless, the sergeant turns to another supervisor (Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee 88). The social and communication traits incorporate the ability to pass on messages effectively, the ability to track progress of employees, fair treatment of subordinates without judgment, keen listening and ability to be initiative.
The sergeant is also supportive of employees as can be seen by his increased concern over poor performance of officer Goulde. The sergeant does not take radical actions, such as disciplining the officer or making a report to the higher authority. Instead, he seeks to understand the officer with the objective of providing assistance, if possible. The actions of the sergeant prove inward support to his officer considering that he was entitled to take further actions, such as getting rid of the officer (Hargreaves, and Fink 84). Lastly, the sergeant is interested in getting a feedback. The trait shows itself when after assigning another officer to study officer Goulde, the sergeant then requests the supervisor to put in writing the observations of the study. The trait for being interested in feedback shows that the sergeant is a considerate leader and he takes iinto account all factors before making a decision.
3) What are some of the “common mistakes” of a new supervisor that Sergeant Durwood Wentworth is making?
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Sergeant Durwood Wentworth’s handling of the situation with the officer proves not to be effective, meaning that in the course of dealing with the problem at hand, he makes some notable mistakes. Firstly, the sergeant acted too friendly to the officer leading to mediocre performance by the officer (Hargreaves, and Fink 103). After officer Goulde put off the sergeant when having a one-on-one talk, the sergeant ought to have taken a disciplinary action or a more stringent approach to dealing with the officer. Instead, the sergeant assumed the situation and did not take any action to discipline the officer. The friendly nature of the sergeant made the officer feel that he could not be punished if he made mistakes at work (Germain 36). Lack of strictness by the sergeant led to the officer being more reluctant to work leading to even further deterioration in job performance.
The sergeant was also slow in reaction to handling officer Goulde’s situation. The sergeant observed poor performance by his officer for over four months without taking any action and by the time he took action, a lot of damage was done to the job and to the officer. Moreover, after speaking to the officer, which did not bear fruits, the sergeant chose to assign the officer to another supervisor instead of observing the officer by himself meaning that it would take more time to note the cause of behavior of the officer (Hargreaves, and Fink 115). The actions of the sergeant show that he did not put the aspect of timing in his decision making on the problem and possible impacts to the officer and to the work. Taking too much time by the sergeant led to low rating of his work performance because employees under his supervision were not performing optimally and the sergeant was not taking any notable action (Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee 102).
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