Leeds felt that taking a position in the consulting firm would give him broader exposure In the retail/marketing field and the Job In general was more glamorous. Kingston offered him a Job and also promised Leeds would become a UP in a few years. He ended up accepting the offer from Dander Boonton and Scott was not happy with the decision. Dander Boonton has (3) practicing areas; mass merchants and luxury retailers, catalog/Delbert marketing and consumer goods manufacturers.
Leeds would be a part of the first practice and the recruiter, with whom Leeds interacted with, spoke highly of the Senior Partner in charge of the area UT also mentioned moral was a down due to the low number of promotions to partnership. The hierarchy at the company is the following: Associate consultant, Consultant, Engagement Manager, Partner, Managing Director Each office has a managing director who optimizes the use of resources to keep staff as fully billable as possible, especially Junior people who do not have clientele. Engagement Directors sell services and staff It with Engagement Managers who use consultants.
Engagement Managers participate In one project at a time usually for up to (8) months. Consultants are rotated more often, every four to six months. This is done to allow consultants to be a part at different stages of the engagement with different clients. Dander uses a formal Management by Objectives evaluation process and most of the promotions are from within. Leeds was interviewed by managers that impressed him but he was also told he would not know who his boss or assignment was until the first day of work, He was also told he would become an engagement manager within 2 to 3 years.
His first day at work he met his boss who outlined his flirts assignment in about ten minutes. It was a merchandising optimization model project with a chain of women’s apparel stores, but it would not start for another six months, and in the meantime the project had to be planned. He was introduced to the only other consultant on the project up to that time, Eleanor Swift. He had a meeting with his boss that did not go well because his boss had stereotyped Mambas as people who know less than what they really claim.
His boss was confrontational stating Leeds would not get special treatment and that he would have to prove himself like everyone else. Leeds replied stating he was someone who got his hands dirty and gave examples of this in his role in the stores. His boss also told him in the next weeks he would be extremely busy FIFO Telling a project, out Tanat en was welcome to ask any Stetsons IT name. Lyle tool Leeds his initial Job was to work on project plans for each major part of the project and to work with Swift, but that he had to report to him and not Swift.
Leeds was not happy with the first meeting with his boss, whom he saw as not welcoming and disinterested. He also met Swift who characterized herself as a corporate misfit, who knew how to get things done but did not engage in politics like everyone else. She told Leeds that by working with her he would learn his Job. She also expressed her dislike for Harvard Mambas and went on to say he would be in learning mode for at least six months and also mentioned the company was a highly structured environment. Leeds was not happy with his boss or peer but had mixed feelings about the project.
The negative part was that it would start in six months, but it was good to start on something so big for the office with challenging work from the ground up. On the second day he was invited to lunch by one of the consultants that had interviewed him and they met other consultants as well. They seemed a lot ore interested in his background than his boss and peer and also informed him about a change in recruitment practices where all new hires for entry level positions were now Mambas from top schools. As a result Mambas were dominating the company, which was a possible cause of Lye’s and Swifts dislike of Mambas.
The couple of times Leeds went to ask his boss some questions about what he had read about Fashioner he was told to come back later. He asked Swift and she answered in her condescending style. Swift would give trivial tasks to Leeds which he did not question since he did not want to be perceived as aggressive. By his third week, Swift scheduled meetings with Engagement Managers who had run projects similar to the components of the project; order quantities, pricing, markdowns and location optimization.
Leeds was in the meetings but did not participate much because he was overwhelmed by the information and felt he should be in learner mode as Swift had suggested. He also felt like nobody asked for his opinion and began to feel uncomfortable. Leeds had a conversation with Brenner, the consultant who interviewed him and she told him making good presentations, having all facts and figures prepared was important along with being enthusiastic, ambitious, creative, and analytical. Leeds was asked to analyze Fashioner sales data and write a Memo which he did with Lye’s help.
The Engagement Director praised it as good, but Leeds was disappointed because he wasn’t included in the development of work plans done by Lyle and Swift using his analysis. He felt he was more than qualified to participate in this. He seemed to get along with everybody at Dander except for Lyle and Swift. He spoke to other consultants who informed him other new hires were doing more challenging tasks and that they did not understand why he was given such mundane assignments. This seems like a bad case of set-up to fail without having any reason other than a stereotype or bad feelings toward Mambas.
Lyle and Swift had made up their mind about Leeds without giving him a chance at success. Lyle provided very little information and assigned work or let Swift assign work that would not encourage or inspire anyone. After six weeks of being there Lyle still had not given Leeds his objectives. One time, Leeds Ana to ay word processing Decease Nils secretary was on vacation and the other secretaries were busy. Hopper saw him and reprimanded him saying he should not be doing clerical work. That’s why they had secretaries and doing that kind of work would undermine his credibility.
Leeds respectfully told him it was a minor change he needed to get done quickly, but Hopper insisted. Lyle heard the incident and told Leeds that Hopper was being unreasonable. Leeds decided to listen to Hopper since he had seniority over Lyle. After this, an incident caused tension between Leeds and both Swift and Lyle. Swift then asked Leeds to make copies for her immediately. Leeds said he was busy and told her to manage her time better and make her own copies. She got upset and asked him if he was too good to make copies. Leeds was upset and he snatched the papers and started making the copies.
After lunch he had a note to go see Lyle. Lyle took Swifts side and shouted at Leeds stating he had to be a team player and that even Harvard Mambas had to make copies. Leeds was frustrated because he felt Lyle was not being objective. Again this sounds like Lyle has his in and out group. Leeds is in the out group without having had a chance to prove himself. Leeds confronted Swift about her being condescending and Swift apologized sarcastically. Leeds either performed clerical tasks and upset Hopper or does not and upsets his boss and peer. A couple of days later Hopper approached Leeds asking him if he was happy in the company.
Leeds stated he had some issues with Swift, but said Lyle was really good to him. He felt it was not good to make negative comments about his boss to his superiors. Leeds found out after three months he should be given an evaluation, he requested one from Lyle and a couple of days later had an informal evaluation during lunch. Lyle said he was doing a nice Job, learning his Job and getting along with everyone in the office, but that he was unassertive and lacked initiative, especially during meetings. Leeds mentioned he was being a learner as Swift had suggested and also mentioned Swifts condescending attitude.
Lyle replied she had a deficient management style, but that he never had issues with her and that Leeds should be able to get along with her. Swift and Leeds got into another argument over analysis Leeds had done of Fashioner’s existing pricing policies and markdown approaches. Swift was initially impressed with his work, but when he showed her the spreadsheet he was using for his analysis she started questioning his findings. Swift started screaming mentioning Harvard Mambas thought they knew it all and Leeds was called into Lye’s office, where
Lyle once again defended Swift and promised to give Leeds distinct assignments. He also told him he did not understand why be couldn’t get along with Swift, that she was misunderstood, but had a good heart. Lyle, as the manager, should take steps to resolve the conflict and make the situation better, but Leeds did not believe he would do that. Leeds took matters into his own hands and invited Swift to speak after work. They did and agreed to cooperate. Other Consultants in the company criticized Lyle calling him a bad manager and stating that he did not train people.
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