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Paper Topic:

situational leadership style

Situational Leadership Leadership is that inner power that a person develops to serve well those around him or her . This power can convene people and get things done ' Charlotin Prophete , warehouse manager for World Vision and community organizer , Lagonav Island , Haiti Introduction

Leadership is an everyday thing . Why ? Because whether we are leading our households or guiding and supervising our tutors or leading our lives , people and children look at us and in one way or another , some or many of them imitate or copy us . We may not be aware about

it at times but influencing others is a daily reality . So , in effect , how should we try to lead ? Usually , the word leadership means the process of using power to obtain interpersonal influence (Schermerhorn et al ,

.445 1985 . Harry Truman concisely stated , Leadership is the ability to get men to do what they don 't want to do and like it (Broder , 1981 There is a sense of power when we have influence on another . In a broad sense , power acquisition and its use can have bearing on professional advancement , on job accomplishment , on governmental effectiveness , and on the lives of many people . Briefly , I will attempt to explain leadership , different styles of leadership , concentrate on I consider the best leadership style which is situational leadership , and the facets of this theory of leadership

What is the leadership style

A groom used to spend whole days in currycombing and rubbing down his Horse , but at the same time stole his oats and sold them for his own profit . Alas ' said the Horse , if you really wish me to be in good condition , you should groom me less , and feed me more Aesop 's Fables

When developing leadership competence , one must soon face up to an important realistic question "What leadership work best for me and my organization " To respond to this question , it 's best to recognize that there are many leadership styles from which to choose Based on the model proposed by Hersey , leadership has something to do basically with nothing else but influence . What influence to the author is not what other people would usually coin it or comes to their mind which is exploitation to the advantage of the leader . If it can contribute -influence- to achieving the company or institution 's objectives or the tasks that would benefit the greater whole then that is good influence and a proper attribute of a leader (Hersey , 2000

Three Classic Leadership styles

One leadership component has to do with control and one 's perception of how much control one should give to people . The laissez faire style implies low control , the autocratic style high control and the participative lies somewhere in between

For me the best leadership style is the Situational Leadership Type . From a study made sometime in the 1950s at Ohio University and the University of Michigan , results showed that no particular style emerged when it comes to leadership type used in any situation . Hence from his emerged the concept which by now is popularly known as the Situational Leadership style and for which any leader can apply given his circumstance and organization (Blanchard Zigarmi 1986

What is Situational Leadership So how do we define Situational leadership ? This theory posits from the standpoint that any situation has different applications towards the dilemma and challenge that the organization and its members are facing . At the heart of situational leadership is the sound principle that a leader ought to adapt his leadership style to the readiness of his followers . Hence the leader doesn 't just employ standard means of solving and meeting the tasks he and the others should accomplish . Therefore , any person placed in the leadership position , as long as he /she does what is called for can actually achieve the goals of the organization because in this model there is no set of characteristics that are called for in a leader

Heresy and Blanchard actually presented the four leadership styles and four levels of follower development as complementary and inseparable components of the model . The followers therefore (not just the leader ) and their roles are crucial in this type of leadership theory . These determinants include , the nature of the task (structured or routine , organizational policies , climate , and culture , the references of the leader 's superiors , the expectations of peers and the reciprocal responses of followers (Blanchard Zigarmi , 1986

The Blanchard and Hersey Model

This model assumes that leaders should adapt their style to follower development style (or 'maturity based on how equipped and determined the follower is to execute compulsory tasks (that is , their competence and motivation . There are four leadership styles (S1 to S4 that match the development levels (D1 to D4 ) of the followers . The four styles indicate that leaders ought to put greater or less concentration on the task in question and /or the relationship between the leader and the follower , depending on the development level of the follower Hersey and Blanchard have written a short and very readable book on the technique . It is licated and easy to comprehend , which makes it remarkably striking for practicing managers who do not want to get into heavier information . It also is accepted in wider spheres and often appears in college courses . Leadership type of management and leadership style as well demonstrates the ultimate development of a team from immaturity (stage 1 ) through to maturity (stage 4 ) during which management an leadership style progressively develops from relatively detached task-directing (1 , through the more managerially-involved stages of explanation (2 ) and participation (3 to the final stage of relatively detached delegation (4 , at which time ideally the team is largely self-managing , and hopefully contains at least one potential management /leadership successor . The goal of the leader or manager is for that reason to build up the team through the four stages , and then to move on to another role . Paradoxically this product is concern for many managers . Nevertheless , good organizations put an enormously high cost on leaders and managers who can attain this The model also shows four most important leadership and management styles , which a good leader is able to switch between , depending on the situation (ie , the team 's maturity relating to a particular task project or challenge (Hersey Blanchard , 1999

The key characteristics of a great leader A distinguished leader has a spark that provokes others to do their finest work . Over the years , I have discovered four qualities shared among inspiring leaders valor , integrity , an infectious passion about the path ahead , and a eagerness to ask for and admit help . Whichever of these qualities taken too far will tilt the balance from quality to liability great leaders organize them fittingly , according to timing , audience , and situation Peeking at my own leadership skills , can I say that I am infectiously passionate about the course I have set , courageous about the challenges I face , honest with myself and others , and willing to ask for and accept help ? If I lack one or more of these key characteristics , what can I do to bring them more fully into the picture

Our primary understanding of personality has much to do with the indispensable qualities demonstrated by a person . These are the core values which we can call "Six Pillars of Character " Those six particular character standards are : trustworthiness , respect responsibility , fairness , caring , and citizenship

What influence has a great leadership had in our life

Talking about great leadership and its influence upon my life is undeniably a wonderful experience to me . A mentor in the university exemplified how he dealt with different people and I was one of those who benefited from his leadership . He saw to it that I learned the ropes and the reins of leadership in a miniature setting because now , I gained confidence somehow in handling first and foremost the most important resource - people . And indeed , his leadership was of the situational type

There were times I did not do well but the example he set forth encouraged for the long haul . Building people to become good followers is a noteworthy aim and garner results . Though at times it puts one in the spotlight and advocating for the rights and well-being of the whole community , and not to the detriment of individuals (Blanchard Zigarmi 1986 ) is not of the hardest things to do , yet the ramifications are worth it and very fulfilling on my part . Because people are different , and no two leaders are alike , hence any organization does encounter different challenges . In this scenario , no better application than Situational leadership can take its place

What influence has poor leadership had in our life

I will identify poor leadership as a source of stress (i .e , a stressor ) in and of itself . At least two aspects of leadership may be stressors : leaders who are abusive or punitive and leaders who simply evidence inadequate leadership abilities for a given context Second , we suggest that poor leadership may be a root cause ' that gives rise to other well-documented workplace stressors . In this sense we suggest that existing models of organizational stress are deficient in their lack of consideration of organizational context we suggest that leadership is a critical element of context that needs to be considered in understanding organizational stressors . Finally , we note the possibility that leadership might moderate stressor-strain relationships . Leaders are , of course , a potent source of social support in the workplace , and such support is documented as a stress buffer

We suggest that poor leadership may serve to isolate individuals and deny access to social support and thereby exacerbate the negative effects of workplace stressors . How might such individuals evidence poor leadership ? At least two possibilities are apparent Leaders may be abusive , aggressive , or punitive , and leaders may simply lack appropriate leadership skills . Hence , with the challenges any leader would be facing ahead of him , it is an understatement to say that situational leadership must be one of those to be considered in any institution . We cannot afford to gamble on the effects of poor management

There are many more problems in any set up that no leader can handle them himself - he therefore needs all the help and cooperation of his constituents that he can get

Advantages of the situational leadership

Management and leadership are complex because people are complex . Rather than stick to one style or form , leaders should be able to evaluate a condition and settle on what type of response is best given the parties involved . Situational leadership (SL ) is effectively the dominant theory behind supervisory-level leadership training around the world Since its launch by Paul Mersey and Ken Blanchard in 1969 , it has rapidly become the de facto standard for supervisory training programmes . Whether it is the franchised proprietary version provided by the Blanchard Training juggernaut , or one of the many generic versions provided by hundreds of trainers around the world (Barnes , 1988 . The basic idea behind SL is not complicated - adapt your style of leadership to the needs of the person you are supervising . If the members are enthusiastic beginners (willing but unable , if I am the leader then I shall be highly directive if my group or organization are people who are capable and experienced people (willing and able , then I 'll delegate as much as I can . In between , I may have to deal with the unwilling and unable (persuade and coach them ) and the unwilling but able (support them . Supervision therefore becomes the test of understanding the developmental level of those being supervised , and then matching the suitable style of leadership to that developmental level (Atwater Wright , 1996

The SL type of leadership is the best model because it has flexibility , resilience and applicability with a variety of set-up and organizations . Primarily , though its key concept lies in providing structure for leaders ' method of attending to management tasks . Despite the fact that difficulties may arise for instance within job maturity or psychological maturity factors , the truth remains that these are major features being considered and are contributory towards successful management decision making process . Novel management trends come out annually . I always look at them , but dispute with much of what they say . Several of these books oftentimes make management and leadership seem so simple , and mean that if you just concentrate on one thing (which is the fad ) then you will be a remarkable executive . I don 't think that is true

Limitations of the situational leadership

One of the limitations of this model is that whenever the followers are not that mature for tasks being assigned to them , dilemma sets in for the leader . Since one of the core concepts of SL is delegation or empowering followers and decision making virtually is shared , the question may arise `What if the followers leave the decision making to their leader ' There may be occasions when members demand that this task be made by the leader because that is one essential reason he /she is there for why there is a leader . Hence Blanchard and Hersey appropriately posited the phrase "task relevant maturity ' which strikes us to problems commonly encountered in organizational change and leadership effectiveness . The issues of job maturity ' and psychological maturity ' which actually contribute towards maintaining group cohesiveness thereby contributing to the attainment of organizational goals . Another important observation from a study is that followers and leaders do not agree on what effectiveness may mean in their work or organizational context (Avery ,

.11-21 , 2001 . Moreover from the same study subordinates did not consider their managers focus on supportive preferences effective (using Blanchard 's definition of effectiveness ' In addition , what is crucial also is what if the manager cannot tell the difference between what is critical emergency situations and day to day management decisions ? This is one of the limitations that the SL type must also address to . No type of leadership though is without any disadvantages or weaknesses . For this reason , we will try to look into SL type with an objective eye . Actually what makes it difficult here for analysts is that there is no distinction between management or leadership . Where the first one starts and the other ends Since leadership is not something that a person at the helm can just be whimsical about - towards any decision-making he should make for that matter , so the difficulty here lies on this particular area of management and how to go about inspiring people ' to change in a particular direction . It also focuses too exclusively on what the person in charge does . Of course both leaders and managers have to behave differently in different situations . But that is just a trivial fact of life , rather than anything profound in terms of our basic understanding of what it means to lead or manage (Hersey Blanchard , 1999 . Despite the disadvantages or limitations , I will still stick to this theory for its practicality and superiority over other models . What is crucial for any leader is constant readiness to be trained or to learn from every decision-making process . A lot of factors can hinge on experience a leader may have in his day-to-day affairs

Evaluate the leadership style In My experience

In my employment , my work as an instructor and administrator involves a lot of role `playing ' meaning wearing many hats at the same time . As an instructor , I face students who come from diverse background plus differing personality traits . As an administrator , I daily , monitor the workload and meet challenges and problems supervising those I handle below me

This means that I will be tasked to adjust and cope with a variety of situations . Using SL or situational leadership would best help me with handling these people I mentioned . I will delegate , or perhaps coach or persuade or support those I work with , which minimizes confusion and eases the complications of the interplay of roles and responsibilities (Kelloway Barling , 1993

Summary and Conclusion

Most organization tools are grounded in at least certain theory , however indistinct and unproven . SL theory (the theory behind the SL tool ) was first promoted to an audience of training professionals , and this may well be suggestive of its focus . SL supplied trainers with a seemingly top-quality basis for training supervisors in leadership skills . For this group of professionals , it had several key advantages

SL suggests that effective leadership is a matter of style , not personality . This is important to trainers because style can be taught whereas personality cannot

SL advocates a contingency approach to leadership . That is , the leadership style is adapted to the needs of the situation . This makes sense to trainers because they know from their own experiences that different learners need different approaches . Being a leader is therefore , not dissimilar to being a trainer

Few people are born with the natural ability to modify their supervisory style to meet the needs of the person being supervised . This is important to trainers because it makes trainers necessary . SL has to be learned , which naturally implies that training is required Onsman 2003

The interests of trainers were more closely matched by SL theory than by any other approach to leadership that had been proposed to that point . Since trainers make all the decisions about what to include in their training programmes , it was only a matter of time before SL progressively conquered most supervisory training programmes . With that in view , I conclude that training under the SL type of leadership will be one great advantage to me . If given the resources , time and support from my employers and colleagues , I would invest to this kind of training . I believe that being knowledgeable of the different types of people , the kind who usually belong in the different levels of employment or rank in an organization , my own strength and weaknesses-these and more will be to my advantage and the advantage of those whom I will be working with . People eventually realize that we can only do so much . The rest will be done by those who have capacities and gifting different from ours

The key to which is humility - accepting that others are needed in whatever ability they have and in what degree they can contribute . Some can give to the overflowing while the rest according to the little they have . Altogether though , a goal is reached , and lives would have been made different Reference

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