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Read and answer the questions to the UPS case study.
UPS is the nation’s fourth-largest employer with 357,000
employees worldwide and operations in more than 200 countries. UPS is
consistently recognized as one of the “top companies to work for” and was
recently recognized by Fortune as one of the 50 best companies for minorities.
A major reason for UPS’s success is the company’s commitment to its employees.
UPS understands the importance of providing both education and experience for
its next generation of leaders—spending $300 million annually on education
programs for employees and encouraging promotion from within. All employees are
offered equal opportunities to build the skills and knowledge they need to
succeed. A perfect example of this is Jovita Carranza.
Jovita Carranza joined UPS in 1976 as a part-time clerk in
Los Angeles. Carranza demonstrated a strong work ethic and a commitment to UPS,
and UPS rewarded her with opportunities—opportunities Carranza was not shy
about taking advantage of. By 1985 Carranza was the workforce planning manager
in metropolitan Los Angeles. By 1987 she was district human resources manager
based in Central Texas. By 1990 she had accepted a move to district human
resources manager in Illinois. She received her first operations assignment, as
division manager for hub, package, and feeder operations, in Illinois in 1991.
Two years later, she said yes to becoming district operations manager in Miami.
In 1996 she accepted the same role in Wisconsin. By 1999 Carranza’s progressive
successes led UPS to promote her to president of the Americas Region. From
there she moved into her current position as vice president of UPS Air
Operations, based in Louisville, Kentucky.
The $1.1 billion air hub she currently oversees sprawls
across the equivalent of more than 80 football fields. It can handle 304,000
packages an hour, its computers process nearly 1 million transactions per
minute, and it serves as the lynchpin for the $33 billion business that has
become the world’s largest package delivery company.
Carranza attributes much of her success to her eagerness to
take on new challenges: “The one error that people make early on in their
careers is that they’re very selective about opportunities so they avoid some,
prefer others,” she says. “I always accepted all opportunities that presented themselves
because from each one you can learn something, and they serve as a platform for
It has also been important, she says, to surround herself
with capable, skilled employees who are loyal to the company and committed to
results. After nearly 30 years with UPS, Carranza says teamwork, interaction,
and staff development are the achievements of which she is proudest: “Because
that takes focus, determination, and sincerity to perpetuate the UPS culture
and enhance it through people.”
Carranza’s corporate achievements, determination, drive,
innovation, and leadership in business have earned her the distinction of being
named Hispanic Business Magazine’s Woman of the Year. She credits her parents,
both of Mexican descent, with teaching her “the importance of being committed,
of working hard, and doing so with a positive outlook”—principles she says
continue to guide her personal and professional life. These principles mirror
those of the company whose corporate ladder she has climbed nonstop, an
organization she says values diversity and encourages quality, integrity,
commitment, fairness, loyalty, and social responsibility.
Among Carranza’s words of wisdom: “Sit back and listen and
observe,” she says. “You learn more by not speaking. Intelligent people learn
from their own experiences; with wisdom, you learn from other people’s
mistakes. I’m very methodical about that.”
1. What are the major skills Jovita Carranza has
demonstrated in her career at UPS that have made her a successful leader?
2. Consider the spiral of experience that Jovita Carranza
has traveled. How has her experience affected her ability as a leader?
3. Take a look at the characteristics of successful leaders
in Highlight 2.1. How many of these are demonstrated by Jovita Carranza?
The Five Steps of
Source: D. B. Peterson and M. D. Hicks, Leader as Coach: Strategies
for Coaching and Developing Others (Minneapolis, MN: Personnel Decisions International,
Forge a partnership:
Coaching works only if there is a trusting relationship between the leader and
his or her followers. In this step leaders also determine what drives their
followers and where they want to go with their careers.
In this step leaders help followers determine which skills or behaviors will
have the biggest payoff if developed. Usually this step involves reviewing the
results of performance appraisals, 360-degree feedback, values, personality
assessment reports, and so on.
Leaders work with followers to build development plans that capitalize on
on-the-job experiences and create coaching plans to support their followers’
Leaders meet periodically with followers to provide feedback, help followers
keep development on their radar screens, and provide followers with new tasks
or projects to develop needed skills.
environment: Leaders need to periodically review how they are role-modeling
development and what they are doing to foster development in the workplace.
Because most people want to be successful, doing this step well will help
attract and retain followers to the work group.