BREITT, STARR, & DIAMOND LLC
Case Study #2 (pg. 368-369)
Discussion Questions:
1. Assume that hiring a General Manager of Operations was a good idea. What leadership
style would be most effective in this position (General Manager of Operations)? Why?
2. What leader behaviors did Brad Howser exhibit? How well did they fit the needs of the
ad agency?
3. Consider your own leadership style. What are some of your tendencies, and how might
you change your perspective?
Running head: BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND CASE STUDY
Breitt, Starr & Diamond Case Study
Tony Archuleta-Perkins
New England College
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BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND CASE STUDY
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Abstract
Transformational leadership approach would be the best solution for Breitt, Starr & Diamond
LLC. The three founders never wanted to be leaders, they wanted to focus on their creative
expertise. The four behaviors that define transformational leadership exemplify the culture need
at Breitt, Starr & Diamond LLC. The newly hired general manager, Brad Howser followed an
authoritarian leadership model. This approach was upsetting with the existing team, as they were
not included in paradigm shift of leadership and strategy of the company. Howser’s approach to
leadership was also transactional in nature. This approach was very efficient financially and was
the first to launch internal controls. In the beginning of my own career, I would consider myself
a Country Club Manager, as I wanted to please everyone. Over the years, I have to learned to
transform into Team Management approach.
Keywords: leadership, culture shifts, paradigms, behaviors
BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND CASE STUDY
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Transformational leadership would be the best approach for the case study of Breitt, Starr
& Diamond LLC. The company was formed with the three of them, each bringing their
specialized creative expertise. The agency had grown so much that it required hiring of seven
new employees to help sustain the growth of the business. The foundation of the business is that
of small, creative, open, trustworthy work environment.
“Transformational leaders transform the personal values of followers to support the
vision and goals of the organization by fostering an environment where relationships can be
formed and by establishing a climate of trust in which visions can be shared” (Stone, Russell, &
Patterson, 2004). In 1991 it was established by Avolio four primary behaviors that constitute
transformational leadership (Avolio, Waldman, & Yammarino, 1991):
1. Idealized influence.
2. Inspirational motivation.
3. Intellectual stimulation.
4. Individualized consideration.
“Leaders are being driven into unfamiliar territory where change remains the only
constant” (Sarros & Santora, 2001). This was the exact predicament that Josh, Rachel & Justin
found themselves in before deciding to hire Brad Howser, their new General Manager.
Regarding the leadership grid, Howser followed the Authority Compliance (Bateman,
Snell, & Konopaske, 2019). This methodology proved to be good for the firm regarding
efficiencies, operations and potentially cost savings. Unfortunately, the negative impact upon
the firm was the lack of regard, or empathy towards the employees. Two confirmed
resignations and one more on the way is a sure tale sign of potentially not the best leadership
move.
BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND CASE STUDY
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Transactional leadership would be another methodology that Howser followed. This was
show by his actions of keeping to strict schedules, controlling the manner in which supplies
were ordered by his custom designed form. All signs of good internal controls, but at what
costs?
H. James & Voehl describe the required essentials needed to move forward with a
cultural change management (CCM) process:

Change should be embraced as the all employees’ culture and not only the top
management’s vision or desire.

Change should be considered in terms of corporate culture and business needs
simultaneously.

The core part of any CCM effort is to have a management transformation strategy.

People will not change unless and until they are psychologically ready to
withdraw from their current daily habits (H. James & Voehl, 2015).
In the case of Breitt, Starr & Diamond, these crucial steps were not taken. Howser was being a
good leader, but perhaps was acting in a silo and was not getting the leadership team involved,
nor was he getting the team involved. Thus, created a hostile environment between the founders
and their employees.
“In becoming a leader, it is essential that you take on the role in ways and practices that
you can be comfortable with” (Canning, 2016). These words sit very personally with the author
of this case study. In my career, I have been able to mold my leadership style to one that is more
effective. In the beginning, I would certainly classify myself as the Country Club Leader
(Bateman, Snell, & Konopaske, 2019). As of now, I have been able to transform my style to that
of Team Management (Bateman, Snell, & Konopaske, 2019). Per Rego, Pereira Lopes &
BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND CASE STUDY
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Volkmann Simpson the Leadership Grid they established would mimic of Bateman et al. The
categories I would certainly classify as under Rego et al would be Authentic and Machiavelically
Authentic, respectively (Rego, Pereira Lopes, & Volkmann Simpson, 2017). Essentially, my
style is one that I will get the global strategic picture accomplished, but able to guide the team to
get the details delegated appropriately.
BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND CASE STUDY
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References
Avolio, B., Waldman, D., & Yammarino, F. (1991). Leading int he 1990s: the four Is of
transformational leadership. Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp.
9-16.
Bateman, T. S., Snell, S. A., & Konopaske, R. (2019). Management: Leading & Collaborating in
a Competitive World. New York: McGraw Hill Education.
Canning, B. (2016). Define Your Leadership Style. MotorAge.Com, pp. 8-9.
H. James, H., & Voehl, F. (2015). Cultural Change Management. International Journal of
Innovation Science, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 55-74.
Rego, P., Pereira Lopes, M., & Volkmann Simpson, A. (2017). The Authentic-Machiavellian
Leadership Grid: A Typology of Leadership Styles. Journal of Leadership Styles, Vol. 11
No. 2, pp. 48-51.
Sarros, J. C., & Santora, J. C. (2001, July). The transformational-transactional leadership model
in practice. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 22 No. 8, pp. 383393.
Stone, A., Russell, R. F., & Patterson, K. (2004). Transformational versus servant leadership: a
difference in leader focus. Emerald Insight, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 349-361.
Concluding Case
BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND LLC
Breitt, Starr & Diamond LLC
BREITT, STARR & DIAMOND LLC
Josh Breitt, Rachel Starr, and Justin Diamond started an advertising agency to serve the needs of small businesses selling
in and around their metropolitan area. Breitt contrib- uted clever ideas and a talent for writing scripts and woo- ing
clients. Starr brought a wealth of media contacts, and Diamond handled the artwork. Their quirky ad campaigns soon
attracted a stream of projects from car dealers, com- munity banks, and a carpet store. Since the agency’s first year, these
clients have kept the bills paid while the three win contracts from other companies. Breitt, Starr & Diamond (BS&D)
prospered by helping clients keep up with the times, and the agency grew to meet the demand, adding a book- keeper, a
graphic artist, a web designer, two salespeople, a social media expert, and a retired human resource manager, who works
10 hours per week.
As the firm grew, the three partners felt they were con- stantly being pulled away from their areas of expertise to answer
questions and solve problems about how to coordi- nate work, define jobs, and set priorities. They realized that none of
them had any management training—and none of them had ever wanted to be a manager. They decided to hire a manager
for a position they would call general man- ager of operations. That person would be responsible for supervising the
employees, making sure expenses didn’t go over budget, and planning the resources (including people) needed for further
growth.
The partners interviewed several candidates and hired Brad Howser, a longtime administrator for a four-physician
medical office. Howser spent the first few weeks quietly studying BS&D’s financial data and observing employees at work.
Then he became more outspoken and assertive. Although the partners had never cared to monitor what time employees
came or left, Howser began requiring all employees to start by 9:00 each morning. The graphic artist and one of the
salespeople complained that flexible hours were necessary for their child care arrangements, but Howser was unyielding.
He also questioned whether the employees had been shopping carefully for supplies, indi- cating that from then on, he
would be making all purchases, and only after the employees submitted their requests on a form of his design. Finally, to
promote what he called team spirit, Howser began scheduling weekly Monday-morning
staff meetings. He would offer motivational thoughts based on his experience at his previous job and invite the employees to share any work-related concerns or ideas they might have. Generally, the employees chose not to share.
Initially, the partners were impressed with Howser’s vigor- ous approach to his job. They felt more productive than they
had been in years because Howser was handling employee concerns himself. Then the top salesperson quit, followed by
the social media expert. The bookkeeper asked if she might meet with the partners. “Is it something you should be
discussing with Brad?” Rachel asked her. The bookkeeper replied that, no, it was about Brad. All the employees were
unhappy with him, and more were likely to leave.
Leadership Chapter 12 369 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1.
2.
3.
Assume that hiring a general manager of operations was a good idea. What leadership style would be most
effective in this position? Why?
What leader behaviors did Brad Howser exhibit? How well did they fit the needs of the ad agency?
Consider your own leadership style. What are some of your tendencies, and how might you change your
perspective?

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