Undercover Boss: Yankee Candle The episode of Undercover Boss over Yankee Candle touched on a few very important aspect of being a productive leader.The episode followed Yankee Candles CEO and President Harlan Kent as he posed as “Dan Johnson” while he spent the day being trained at different Yankee Candle jobs.Harlan Kent showed many qualities that an exceptional leader should posses.
In a leadership analysis I will touch on the leadership qualities showed in this episode, as well as cover some mistakes that leaders commonly make and how they can be overcome.
The most defining quality that Harlan showed through the episode is his extraordinary passion for all aspects of the Yankee Candle Business. Passion is extremely important for a leader to express because it not only is what drives the leader but also shows his followers an example of the commitment that they should have for their jobs. The second quality that was shown has to do with the way in which Harlan treated his employees. He showed the ability to put job titles aside and treat everyone equal. He listened to what his employees has to say and showed support to them as people.
This is important as a leader because it shows followers that they are not only important to the organization but are recognized as the people they are and not only by their job description. One last quality that I saw Harlan showed in this episode was his ability to be film with his employees and make them understand what is expected of them. He did this with his final encounter with the employee Blaze. The important part of this encounter was that he was able to be firm with Blaze but then offer a resolution and support.
This leadership quality instills respect in the employee for the leader and can increase the level of trust between the two. Leadership is not easy and there are many mistakes that will. One of these mistakes is for a leader to under inform an employee. This can be can caused for a number of reasons but it was shown in this episode a few times while Harlan was going through the orientation process. Employees would give Harlan a task to do with a small amount of instruction and then move on to their own job. Harlan would then struggle and employee would be disappointed in his work.
I feel like this was a mistake by the employees because they should have recognized the lack of skill or direction that Harlan had and then worked with him until he was fully able to accomplish the task. Other mistakes that are commonly made by leaders have to do with the idea that they are above their followers. If leader asks their followers to arrive on time to a meeting and they themselves are late than their followers may believe being late or absent is acceptable. If a leader makes an excuse for something than a follow feels they can now make an excuses.
There are many examples of this type of behavior that a leader can make. Leaders who make mistakes like these need to come to the understanding that leading doesn’t mean you are in charge. It means you are the leader and you should set the example. The best way a leader can recover from mistakes like these are to be clear and thero in all aspects of leadership. Secondly, If they make a mistake, recognize the mistake and then learn from it because everyone can recognize their mistakes but it takes a good leader to be able to learn from their mistakes.
This analysis covered the leadership qualities shown by Yankee Candles CEO Harlan Kent is the episode of Undercover Boss as well as some of the mistakes leaders commonly make and how they can overcome these mistakes. The most important part to take from this analysis is that a great leader possess a passion for their job and needs to be able to listen and respect their followers. If a leader makes a mistake they need first recognize they made a mistake and than learn from the mistake to better themselves and the team.