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A Tale of Two Managers (Compare and Contrast)

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A Tale of Two Managers Andy King COM/170 Elements of University Composition and Communication I April 23, 2012 Charlotte Babb A Tale of Two Managers I have worked with my company for 24 years, and except for the past six months, I have had one manager, Howard Johnson. Unfortunately, Howard passed away last November. The gentleman who replaced Howard as my new manager is Pete Sullivan. Even though they have different management styles, both managers are effective, well liked, respected by their peers, and achieve the same results. Howard and Pete shared many physical similarities, such as age, race, gender, and body type. Howard was a White male, and at the time of his death he was 62 years young. His pot belly usually arrived well ahead of the rest of his five foot ten inch frame. His blond and gray hair was cut short to his scalp and faded into his pale white and freckled complexion. He had crystal blue eyes that could pierce right through anyone when he was serious but could also make someone feel appreciated and truly cared for when he gave praise. I always called him Popeye because he had tremendous forearms. He seemed much too young to die. Pete is a White male, and he is 63 years young. He also has a pot belly that usually greets me before the rest of his six-foot frame can catch up. Pete is bald on top with light brown and gray hair that circles his head just above his ears. His skin color is a little darker but still fairly pale and equally filled with freckles. He has larger than average forearms also but not quite as large as Howard’s. Pete has a few more wrinkles in his face that make him look a little older than his actual age. Howard was a family man and talked often of his wife and children, especially his grandchildren. He recently became a grandfather again and could not stop speaking of and showing off pictures of his grandson. It seemed as though he would bring in a new picture every day. Some would only show his grandson smiling or giving big hugs whereas others would show them together in a swimming pool or just hanging out together. His eyes would light up each time he described a picture, and anyone could see how excited and proud he was and how much family meant to him. Pete, also a family man, plans vacations with his family several times a year. He talks of his family often and is extremely proud of his granddaughters. Just last month he flew to the east coast with his wife and granddaughters to tour some historic United States landmarks. When he returned the stories of their trip were many, and he eagerly offered up the details. He had taken many pictures during their trip. Pete could hardly contain his excitement and enjoyment as he described, in detail, each picture to me. It is easy to see how much Pete loves his family. Both men are golfers at heart. Howard was avid and never stopped trying to improve his game. He watched every televised golf tournament and took every golf class available. There was a new putter in his bag every other month, and he always had to have the latest and greatest driver. Sometimes he would bring two or three drivers or putters and alternate between them during our round of golf. I thought it was crazy and I would tease him about it. I always admired his determination to be the best he could be. Pete, on the other hand, loves to golf too but his commitment to the game is on a much lower level. He has had the same set of clubs for the past 15 years. I think Pete is in it more for exercise and the social experience that a four to five hour round of golf has to offer. They both enjoy consuming a few adult beverages while chasing that little white ball around the golf course. Fun loving good old boys is how I would describe their attitudes on the course. There was a great deal of joking, laughing, and harassing during 18 holes of golf. * Howard was very quiet and reserved at work, and took his responsibilities extremely serious. Pete seems to be is following in those same footsteps. Howard always had a stern look about him and could walk past without even a glance or a word. On the rare occasion when someone would stop him and say hello, he would always give a big smile and a quick wave of his hand. Pete smiles a little more often and always says hello. They lead by example and their peers as well as direct reports look to them for leadership. They are both good managers. * I think their ethnic background and upbringing shaped their personalities more than anything else. Howard was born in the U.S. but his parents were Swedish and Irish. I believe he acquired more of the quiet and subdued Swedish culture. Pete was raised by parents who are Irish and Scottish. I believe Pete acquired equal doses of the two rambunctious and outgoing cultures. For the most part, Howard was a very reserved and serious person, but he had a fun side that came out with the addition of a little alcohol. He could separate completely his business and personal life. Pete, on the other hand, is more outgoing and talkative. He always makes eye contact and says hello. * Hojo, as his close friends and family would call him, was like a father to me, and we had that type of relationship outside work. We golfed together, drank together, and took family vacations together, but when we were at work, it was completely professional, and he treated me just like everyone else. I have a relationship with Pete outside work also, but it is limited to golf. We discuss our families, and my daughter competes against his granddaughter in soccer, however, we will never have the same friendship or relationship that Howard and I shared even though we have worked together for 20 years. Their management styles are completely different. Howard knew what was going on everywhere in the plant at all times. He paid close attention to each department and communicated with his supervisors daily. He was extremely conscientious and cared deeply about the company and doing things correctly the first time. He was always respectful and rarely raised his voice. Pete’s style is not so hands on. He is more relaxed and trusting in what his direct reports are doing. He meets with the supervisors much less often, only once or twice a month. I believe that Pete cares equally about the welfare of our company, but it is not as obvious. Howard and Pete are alike just as much as they are not alike and their leadership styles are completely different but at the end of the day, when all is said and done, both managers are held in high regard and achieve the same results.…...

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