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Case Study

Ben Dover, a 29-year old Millennial, was promoted from an advertising salesman to head the entire advertising department at a growing sports management business. The CEO of Runaway Sports believes the best managers come from the best workers because they are close to client care issues. Ben was selected for promotion over three other people in the company and numerous applicants because of his excellent scores on their advertising goal charts, team work, and his course work toward his MBA. Delighted with his promotion, Ben decided to take charge immediately and called a meeting of the staff who reported to him.

At the gathering he asked people for input on what they would like to see changed. When one of her former coworkers spoke up and suggested that they hire another full-rime advertising salesperson, Ben rolled his eyes, frowned, and shook his head, saying “Not a chance. Too expensive. That’s a strikeout!” He looked around the room. “Do any of you have ideas that won’t break the bank?” Silence fell over the room like a heavy blanket. “I don’t understand. All you guys ever do is complain about being overworked. If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. I can’t be expected to fix everything by myself. If you don’t have any reasonable ideas, then game over for this meeting.”

Unbeknownst to Kevin, his boss, Rip Mashorts, a 54 year-old late Boomer, happened to be near the open door and heard everything. Rip waited for the staff to disperse and invited Ben to come to his office. “Ben, I think you have a lot of potential. Right now, you would benefit from a leadership coach. We only offer this type of mentoring to people we believe will become good leaders in our organization.”

Ben was floored. He just got the job and already he was being told he had to be retrained. It felt like a complete fumble. On the other hand, Rip said this was an investment in Ben’s future with the company. He took a deep breath and contemplated what he wanted to do.

What is going on with Ben?
How does this development inform Bens ideas on leadership?
Whats his next move?

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