This case is about the leadership that went wrong in the office supplies stores. It is a case that happened in 2009 in Ohio. Tom, a director of the Jest office supplies, saw an opportunity for company’s development and was too fast to utilize it. Under Tom leadership, the store expanded and opened branches in other towns. In fact, after operating for only six years, the tenacious and enthusiastic leaders had moved the stores and penetrated major markets. Following this rapid growth, the store called for an increase in a number of management teams. The existing management team made a serious search for progressive, and self-driven individuals to run many branches the company had opened. This is the instance where the first mistake was made. Individuals, selected and employed to run the branches as leaders, missed on leadership skills, especially with regard to being supportive and able to guide the subordinates. The management, therefore, got itself in a quandary as far as their leaders were concerned about hiring process.
Leadership is not an issue of offering great speeches and talking to people. It instead is about producing results as opposed to being a matter of personal attributes (Northouse, 2010). This is what path goal theory tries to bring out. It gives an impression that an effective leader is the one that succeeds in influencing his followers' perceptions towards work goals, individual development objectives, and ways of attaining these goals (Northouse, 2010). In other words, a leader should behave in a manner that is acceptable to his followers. Followers should look at their leader as a major source of satisfaction in the present, and what is the most important, in the future (Northouse, 2010). This theory is, therefore, an important pillar in understanding the leadership, and it was developed by Robert House in 1970 (Northouse, 2010). An individual behavior is only said to be motivational, if it can possibly reduce or absolutely remove roadblocks that tend to get in the way of goal achievement. Secondly, Northouse (2010) indicates that a leader should offer guidance and support to his followers when it is needed (Northouse, 2010).
The situation in the Jest office supplies is one that should be corrected, otherwise, it may lead the store, which the existing management team has labored to establish, to the closure. Recruitment of a new leader should be a well- planned activity aimed at the getting individuals who can adjust their leadership style to the existing situation (Northouse, 2010). Only the achievement- oriented individuals should hold leaders’ posts (Northouse, 2010). According to Northouse (2010), the path goal theory looks at leadership as an art of showing one's followers how their actual performance in a job can be translated into tangible results. In other words, the employed leaders should be instruments of directing and supporting their followers in the attempt to achieve goals (Northouse, 2010). In the same breath, path goal theory categorically vests an obligation on the leaders in such question as the elaboration of which path to use in order to achieve desired goals (Northouse, 2010). In this case, his followers are likely to perform their jobs with a high level of accuracy. A leader should also ensure that any obstacles in followers’ way to achieving job objectives are removed forthwith. In addition, rewards and compensations should also ascend from the leader to the follower along the same route (Northouse, 2010). The management team of Jest supplies can, therefore, decide to retrain the leaders so that they can act as productive, sensitive, smart, motivated, and, above all, responsive to challenges. Once the above actions are taken, the Jest office supplies can be assured of penetrating even greater markets and boosting their profit base.