Great Leader can be a Great Mentor  

The Hush Post, Ludhiana

ABC is a leading company in the development and manufacturing of a wide range of antivirus solutions. The company prides itself and is well known for being refreshingly honest and straightforward in its dealings with customers and employees, and in its ability to deliver difficult projects on time. Aditi has been a senior manager at ABC for six years and leads a team in the custom services area of the company in Jalandhar. In a recent employee’s all round performance survey, Aditi scored above average in the competency, Inspires and Motivates Others to High Performance. Her report also indicated that her manager, peers, and direct reports saw this competency as a critical one for someone in her position. Some of the written comments in her survey indicated that if she applied this competency more often, it would have a significant positive impact on her success on the job. For these reasons, she’s focusing her personal leadership development over the next year on this competency. Rohan is one of Aditi’s direct reports who has worked at ABC for more than nine years and whose historical performance has been excellent. Rohan doesn’t have as strong a technical background as most of his colleagues. He has a very efficient work style and puts in any extra hours needed to meet personal and team goals. He transferred from a different group and joined Aditi’s team almost one year ago.

Unfortunately, Rohan didn’t perform as expected by Aditi on the job over the last three months. One of them revolved around some critical missed assignments and late deliveries. Aditi had assigned him two projects with some stretch goals that were not easy for Rohan to achieve, but had made those assignments specifically to give him development opportunities he had requested. This approach was typical for her, as she generally has a positive approach and displays confidence in her team members. She had worked together with him on his plans, projects and also guides him whenever needed. She also had a constant check on him during the weeks leading up to the delivery dates. Each time she was assured by him that everything was on track. This attitude of Rohan had an impact on the performance of Aditi’s entire team. The other setbacks were related to workplace confrontations he had at different times with several of his teammates following the missed assignments. Aditi has met often with Rohan during these last few months. She moved quickly to call out his missed responsibilities and improper behaviour, wanting to be clear to him and the team that she was holding him accountable for his actions. She interviewed Rohan’s teammates to get their understanding of what happened and the impact these situations were having on them and the team. She’s also spent a good deal of time with Rohan to get his perspective, trying to understand what’s been behind Rohan’s unusual behaviour and to help him get back on track. During her meetings with him, she sometimes downplayed the seriousness of the situations in order to make him feel better about himself. During Aditi’s coaching meetings with Rohan over the last two weeks, she learned that there are several things that are likely contributing to Rohan’s recent performance issues. He shared some personal problem with some of his colleagues that clearly have him worried.

He’s also concerned about some process and role changes on the team that Aditi instituted a few months ago that have caused changes in his day-to-day work responsibilities. Rohan has accepted Aditi’s feedback and recognized and taken responsibility for his actions. Although his personal issues are improving, they’re still an obvious worry to him. He’s also clearly stuck on how to handle the changes in his job. One of Aditi’s greatest concerns is how to get this formerly excellent performer back on track and contributing more, despite Rohan’s obvious discouragement and lack of confidence.


Shamita Rampal