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Published by:
Ivey Publishing (2011)
9 pages
Data source:
Field research


In this role play case, you are the new general manager of the Elmwood Group and have scheduled a meeting with your direct report, Darcy Gallagher, who is a sales manager. Gallagher, who had been consistently rated as an exceptional performer over his career at Elmwood, excels in business development, problem solving and customer focus and delivers strong results. However, Gallagher has significant gaps in his leadership competencies and skills, and in your view, he meets, not exceeds, current job requirements. Gallagher''s prior managers have vaguely referenced his need to improve his ''soft skills'' but have not followed up with him. For a proud, over-rated manager like Gallagher, recognizing and accepting the gap between perception and reality will not be an easy pill to swallow. Gallagher, who believes that he has sponsors in higher places, may challenge the general manager''s authority. This case has three teaching objectives: (1) to hone skills in planning for and conducting a performance coaching discussion with a previously exceptional performer who does not realize his weak spots in leadership competencies; (2) to assess responses to the performance coaching situation; and (3) to gain insights into how to coach high potential leaders who are derailing.


Performance review; Development plan; Coaching a high performer; Candid feedback
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