What leadership traits did Weaver exhibit? If you were in Weaver’s shoes, what would you have done?

Peter Weaver Case Study Peter Weaver doesn’t like to follow the crowd. He thinks groupthink is a common problem in many organizations. This former director of marketing for a consumer products company believes differences of opinion should be heard and appreciated. As Weaver states, “I have always believed I should speak for what I believe to be true.” He demonstrated his belief in being direct and candid throughout his career. On one occasion, he was assigned to market Paul’s spaghetti-sauce products. During the brand review, the company president said, “Our spaghetti sauce is losing out to price-cutting competitors. We need to cut our prices!” Peter found the courage to say he disagreed with the president. He then explained the product line needed more variety and a larger advertising budget. Prices should not be cut. The president accepted Weaver’s reasoning. Later, his supervisor approached him and said, “I wanted to say that, but I just didn’t have the courage to challenge the president.” On another occasion, the president sent Weaver and 16 other executives to a weeklong seminar on strategic planning. Weaver soon concluded the consultants were off base and going down the wrong path. Between sessions, most of the other executives indicated they didn’t think the consultants were on the right path. The consultants heard about the dissent and dramatically asked participants whether they were in or out. Those who said “Out” had to leave immediately. As the consultants went around the room, every executive who privately grumbled about the session said “In.” Weaver was fourth from last. When it was his turn, he said “Out” and left the room. All leaders spend time in reflection and self-examination to identify what they truly believe and value. Their beliefs are tested and fine-tuned over time. True leaders can tell you, without hesitation, what they believe and why. They don’t need a teleprompter to remind them of their core beliefs. And, they find the courage to speak up even when they know others will disagree. What leadership traits did Weaver exhibit? If you were in Weaver’s shoes, what would you have done? Where does courage come from? List your three most important values.


Peter Weaver, a former director of marketing, stood out in his career for his unwavering commitment to his beliefs and the courage to speak up when he disagreed with prevailing opinions. This case study explores the leadership traits exhibited by Peter Weaver, discusses what could have been done in his shoes, and delves into the source of courage in leadership.

Leadership Traits Displayed by Peter Weaver

  1. Courage: One of the most prominent leadership traits exhibited by Peter Weaver is courage. He wasn’t afraid to challenge the status quo, even when it meant disagreeing with the company president. In the face of declining sales and the president’s suggestion to cut prices, Weaver boldly expressed his dissent. He believed that the product line needed more variety and a larger advertising budget, and he had the courage to articulate this, ultimately convincing the president. Weaver’s courage to speak up in difficult situations showcased his commitment to what he believed was right for the company.
  2. Conviction: Weaver’s actions were driven by strong convictions. He didn’t simply voice his disagreement for the sake of it; he had a well-thought-out argument. He believed that cutting prices was not the solution, and instead, the company needed to invest in product variety and marketing. His conviction in his beliefs allowed him to stand his ground even when faced with opposition.

In Peter Weaver’s Shoes: What Would You Have Done?

If one were in Peter Weaver’s shoes facing a similar situation, several key considerations come into play:

  1. Assess the Situation: It’s essential to carefully evaluate the circumstances and the nature of the disagreement. In Peter Weaver’s case, he disagreed with the company’s strategy and had a viable alternative. Before taking action, it’s crucial to ensure that one’s perspective is well-founded and based on a deep understanding of the issue at hand.
  2. Prepare a Compelling Argument: Just as Peter did, it’s essential to prepare a well-reasoned and persuasive argument to support your viewpoint. This includes gathering data, facts, and evidence to back up your position. A compelling argument can make a significant difference in convincing others of the validity of your perspective.
  3. Choose the Right Moment: Timing is critical when voicing dissent. Peter chose an opportune moment during a brand review to express his disagreement, and this likely contributed to his success in convincing the president. Picking the right moment can increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
  4. Communicate with Respect: When disagreeing with superiors or colleagues, it’s crucial to communicate respectfully. Peter’s respectful yet firm communication style played a role in his ability to influence the president’s decision. Avoiding confrontational language and maintaining a professional demeanor is essential.
  5. Be Open to Feedback: While Peter’s conviction was unwavering, it’s important to remain open to constructive feedback and alternative viewpoints. Sometimes, the initial disagreement might not capture the full picture, and being receptive to input from others can lead to better decisions.
  6. The Source of Courage in Leadership

    Courage in leadership can stem from various sources:

    1. Core Values: Courage often originates from deeply held core values. Leaders who are guided by a strong moral compass and a sense of what is right and just tend to display courage when faced with challenging decisions. In Peter Weaver’s case, his belief in the importance of diversity and advertising investment drove his courage to challenge the status quo.
    2. Self-Confidence: A leader’s self-confidence in their knowledge, skills, and abilities can boost their courage. When individuals believe in their competence and expertise, they are more likely to speak up and defend their viewpoints, as Peter did.
    3. Ethical Commitment: Leaders who are committed to ethical principles and integrity are often more inclined to demonstrate courage. They prioritize doing what is ethically right over conforming to potentially unethical practices.
    4. Supportive Environment: The presence of a supportive and inclusive organizational culture can nurture courage in leaders. When employees feel safe to express their opinions without fear of retribution, they are more likely to exhibit courage in their actions.


    Peter Weaver’s leadership traits of courage and conviction are exemplary. His willingness to speak up and challenge prevailing opinions demonstrated his commitment to his core beliefs. In a similar situation, individuals can learn from Peter’s approach by assessing the situation, preparing compelling arguments, choosing the right moment, communicating respectfully, and remaining open to feedback. Courage in leadership often stems from core values, self-confidence, ethical commitment, and a supportive environment. True leaders like Peter Weaver are not only aware of their beliefs but also have the courage to act on them, even when facing opposition.