Done 11:59 today 3 questions Week 04 Application Assignment – Case Study #4

It was three o’clock on Sunday afternoon,and Bob Parker’s stomach began to hurt. By dinner he wasn’t hungry, and at bedtime he couldn’t sleep.In the morning,the persistent buzzing of the alarm took forever to pierce his troubled dreams. As he drove to the office, with each mile he felt the spring inside him coil tighter.It was not the challenge of the job.The adversity and risk of turning a business aroundor building a plant in the jungle were exhila-

rating, not immobilizing. Success in tough business situations marked his career,and he had numerous and rapid promotions. No, it wasn’t the overwhelming responsibility of his current job that brought this 40-year-old

executive to his knees;it was his boss.For the first time in his career, Bob was faced with situation that he didn’t know how to handle.Even more frustrating was the feeling that, with such an important job to be done, this situation simply should not exist. It was evident how his boss got where he was. Extremely confident and incredibly talented in handling technical problems, he got results. But his remarkable results were achieved at a horrible cost to others. Bob’s boss was completely devoid of sensitivity,kindness,and patience.He treated people as if they were no different from material or fiinancial resources, to be bought, sold, and used up. If one of his people made a serious

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mistake, he’d write the person off no matter how competent and successful the person

was previously.Moody and volatile,he might come down on anyone at any time.His intel-

ligence was a club that he wielded with impunity, chewing out subordinates in front of others, mounting scathing attacks on other people’s ideas, and sometimes deliberately setting up subordinates to make them look

stupid. Ironically, he could be charming and pleasant when it suited his purpose,

which was usually when interacting with top management. Bob tried to cope with personal despair

and frustration by playing mind games with himself. He tried to convince himself that he worked for the company not for the boss. As he watched his boss exploit and demean subordinates, he vowed never to treat anyone that way himself.As more Mondays went by, Bob had to learn skills for dealing with adversity that were not needed in previous

tough assignments. He learned to maintain his composure under direct personal assault.He began to time his moves around his boss’s moods, and gave up some things to get what he wanted from others. He leaned on others

for support, as they did on him. He learned that even when you can’t do much to change someone else, you can change your own behavior to make the best of a bad situation.In his bleakest moments, Bob felt that

top management had forgotten him and his brilliant career was at an end.Then,unexpectedly,his boss was fired and Bob was promoted to the boss’s job. He found out later that the company had already written off his boss

weeks ago, and it was Bob who was being judged.By keeping cool and by continuing to do his job despite the terrible circumstances, Bob had passed a test he didn’t even know he was taking. He learned that he could handle

this type of adversity, and he learned that his company would not tolerate behavior like that of his former boss.Ironically,while watching the dazzling brilliance of his boss in action he also learned how to be more effective in

dealing with technical problems.  ■



1. What traits and skills explain how the boss had initial career success but eventual 


2. How difficult is it for someone in Bob’s situation to learn useful lessons from experience?

3. What traits helped Bob survive and learn from his ordeal?

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