A Day in the Life of Alex Sander

4769 Words Aug 5th, 2009 20 Pages
LARRY E. GREINER ELIZABETH COLLINS

A Day in the Life of Alex Sander: Driving in the Fast Lane at Landon Care Products
5:25 A.M.

Sweat dripped onto the handlebars of Alex Sander’s StairMaster. Sander was half an hour into a cardiovascular workout, while carrying on a conversation in the fitness center of the downtown condominium complex with a neighbor who was climbing steadily on his own StairMaster. At 32, Alex was the newest, and youngest, product manager in the Toiletries Division of Landon Care Products, Inc., a cosmetics products company headquartered in Connecticut. In just over one year with Landon, Alex had successfully rebranded two national skin care products. In January 2007, Landon had been acquired by Avant-Garde, a
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Even if I have to steamroll over someone’s feelings, or ignore the way a colleague would like to handle a project.

Sander: Well, I get ticked off pretty easily. For example, I can’t stand explaining something more than a couple of times. But what really bothers me is lack of commitment—for example, if a long-time employee isn’t willing to put in extra hours to meet an important deadline. But you know what? After I really become angry, there are people at Landon whose output will jump for at least a couple of weeks afterwards. My temper is actually an effective management tool.

9:00 A.M.

Leong nodded apologetically to Garrison as she left and said, “The interviewer from your alumni magazine is here.” The magazine was interviewing Sander for an article on “high-potential” product managers as part of a career development issue. After the Avant-Garde acquisition of Landon, Sander had been selected to reformulate a stale Avant-Garde skin care product marketed primarily in Western Europe and to launch it as Nourish in the United States. The target market for Nourish included active American women in their 20s and 30s. Even though considerable investment in research and development would be required, Avant-Garde had allocated $25 million to fast-track the project, in an effort to beat a competing product to market. The interviewer from the alumni magazine first asked, “Alex, how did you end up working in product
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