I need a response to the below statement:
The underlying communication mistake starts before he opened his mouth or typed on a keyboard. It began with the self-management and social management skills he brought to his leadership role. It is labeled a communication mistake because pressure revealed his leadership character through poor communication. The first communication to Barry was sharper and blunter, but the second message also revealed deep mistrust and intimidation present in his management style. Also, it shows that as the CEO, he does not instinctively take responsibility for company problems. Tannenbaum sent the emails out of frustration and catalyzed fixing leaks, but more for personal emotional benefit than fixing the problem. He sent those emails the way he did, in poor judgment, because he has not thought through a crisis communications plan and management process (Kiger, 2016). They may have made him feel better and back in control as he thought they would catalyze a response, but they came out of emotional immaturity. They demonstrated the opposite of self-awareness and a mature decision-making process. However, before reviling Tannenbaum too much, the author should remember that his outburst is quite common and easy to fall into.
In terms of channels, an underlying communication mistake is to send his thoughts in writing via private email to a company email address. All company email is company property and easily accessible to company IT ‘whistleblowers.’
Second, Tannenbaum should have taken time to cool off, then met with Barry face to face, talked over the phone if necessary, but not in writing. This is simply because email is the poorest channel for expressing highly dynamic content. It is quick to compose and send, yet it is just letters on a page and lacks the verbal tone, body language, and other channels. In addition, it is rapidly distributed. Tannenbaum should have taken some time to think himself, then talked through options with Barry in a closed-door meeting under attorney-client privilege. This is legally protected, and a breach is a legal offense. As for reaching out to the managers, if they cannot be summoned for a face-to-face meeting after Tannebaum calms down, he should have a video call where they can see and hear him, and he can listen to and see them. He can gauge their reactions in real-time as he carefully chooses his words, and he focuses on solving the problem instead of casting blame and looking for heads to roll (Daft, 2013). They can understand his concern over this issue and the threat to the organization. He can convince them that they are trusted partners in finding the leak, fixing it, and building a more robust culture of trust and adherence to confidentiality guidelines.
Third, Tannenbaum needs to start by owning the problem, not just the situation that has exploded, but the flaws in his management and communication style and the organizational issues that the security breach exposed (Kiger, 2016). The organization’s morale issue that resulted from his explosion needs to be addressed, but an apology without addressing the other problems will not improve morale.
First, Tannenbaum should think through his response with Barry and a few close-in managers who better handle organization morale and how people will respond. They should discuss trust, lack of security protocol adherence, management by intimidation, and communication. Out of that message planning session, Tannenbaum should call a face-to-face meeting with his managers to communicate directly to them his damage control efforts with a clear admission of his ownership of the problem. He should gather feedback from his managers; a group should distill this into a broader plan with staff. Given it’s a large toy company and Tannenbaum has been the longtime CEO, he’s probably done many things right, but he could be fossilized in his management skills and style (Daft, 2013). After receiving this feedback, a communications plan for building trust, adherence to confidentiality, and restoring organizational morale should be developed. This plan for organization morale should recognize that staff saw him intimidate and communicate distrust in a big way, and for Tannenbaum to change their minds and restore confidence as a leader, they need to see change.
In conclusion, a very realistic observation is that managers are often known for their brilliance in one area but genuine failings in another. The company may publicly acknowledge this and have confidence in Tannenbaum’s internal leadership style decrease but decide on his ability to design, dealing with external stakeholders, strategies in international markets, or others over time. Organization steps taken will show their choice and whether the organization and Tannenbaum will grow or instead choose to muddle through.
Kiger, D. (2016). Damage Control: How CEOs can Navigate a Business Crisis. Business2Community.com. https://davidrkiger.com/blog/damage-control-how-ceos-can-navigate-a-business-crisis/