Rev. Aug.16, 2011
JOHN WOLFORD (A)
John Wolford, a vice president and general manager for Eurotech-USA, awoke with a start and looked at his iPhone. “Damn it!” he exclaimed angrily. He had carefully set its alarm for 5:00 a.m., and it was now well past 6:00 a.m. It was Wednesday morning, and Wolford’s mind raced as he thought about all the details he had to attend to that day: a meeting with his boss, a funeral, a briefing from the CFO, and preparation for a three-day trip to London, which required packing bags, confirming plane reservations, and paying personal bills. To complicate matters, he would be attending a six-week residential management-development program almost immediately after his return. He was …show more content…
Since they had become teenagers, however, he rarely saw his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. And he found it increasingly difficult to communicate with his 10-year-old son, Frank, who was going through what Wolford thought of as a rebellious phase.
Wednesday Morning Wolford, his heart racing, jumped out of bed and grabbed his iPhone to read his overnight e-mails while he brushed his teeth. He was to meet his boss at nine o’clock and had planned to use the extra hour preparing the answers to his potential questions. But he started skimming a report showing that his division had fallen short of its quarterly profit plan by more than $14 million. “I’ll never get through this by nine o’clock,” he thought. Although Wolford had demonstrated his mettle as a hands-on manager, he decided earlier in the year to remove himself from the daily operating decisions. He had done so partly because of complaints from his subordinates about his constant involvement and partly because he wanted to devote more time to new product development. While he had thoroughly enjoyed spending more time in the engineering laboratory, the manufacturing area had experienced substantially decreased profitability. “What a jerk I was to have given them so much freedom,” he said to himself, reflecting on the operating-management team he had entrusted with the dayto-day operating authority only months before. Wolford made himself