Will Cohen, the case protagonist, has recently been promoted to Bank of America’s market sales executive for the mid-Atlantic region. In this position, he finds himself struggling with some of the conversations, personal interactions, and general dynamics he has had with his direct reports. Cohen had had a wildly successful decade-plus experience in wealth and investment advising for several large companies, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase & Co.. He had then been recruited to lead the Bank of America private bank team in Charlottesville, Virginia, where, again, he and his team had been enormously successful and effective, leading to his position with the mid-Atlantic region.
However, in this position, Cohen had been somewhat disheartened by the workplace ethic, which included lethargy and complacency. He often wondered about his leadership skills, which was a totally new concern for him. After a recent difficult conversation with a team member, Cohen worried about how he was handling the challenges of his new position. His goal was to drive performance while at the same time encouraging the growth of his team members and creating a culture of teamwork, collective ownership, trust, and creativity. He just was not sure he was executing these goals successfully.