Effective Situational Leadership Essay

Leadership Styles is a concept that has been widely studied. Various scholars at different times have tried to understand leaders and styles of leadership. The wide attention given to leaders and leadership testify to the importance of leaders in the society. Leaders are found at different areas of the society.

They give directions to the society on various issues. Leadership is very important in organizations. Leaders within an organization are expected to offer leadership on various issues experienced in an organization. Just like there are many leaders, the styles of leadership also vary.

Conventionally, leadership styles are categorized in various groups such as transformational versus translational leadership and authoritative, democratic and free reign style. Although these are the major categories of leadership, styles of leadership are known to vary from one leader to the other (Sharlow 2006, para 2).

Leaders can change the way they behave, their personality and leadership style. Situational leadership style, developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey explains the ability of leaders to adapt their leadership style to different situations.

Leadership style can be explained as the approach that an individual take in leading others. It involves the ways in which leaders motivate, direct and interact with their followers (Sharlow 2006, para. 3). Leadership has been considered as a major factor in the success of an organization in the recent past.

Effective leadership enables an organization to meet its goals and gain competitive advantage (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy 2006, p. 81). Organizations’ environments have changed significantly in the recent past. To be effective, leaders have to be flexible to various leadership situations.

They must be able to deal with their subordinates in different ways depending on situations. Effective leadership depicts the manner in which a leader is able to adjust their style of leadership depending on the people being led and the respective missions. Situational leadership proposes four styles that a leader can adopt depending on situation. These include directing, supporting, coaching and delegating (Cooley 2001, para. 3).

Situational leadership is considered to be a function of leader’s personality, group personality and situation. It is represented by the formula: L=f (LP, GP, S) (Cooley 2001, para. 2). This implies that leadership style vary with personality of the leader, personality of subordinate and the situation.

Group personality and situations vary frequently. The personality of the group may vary with education, experience and other factors in subordinates. Leadership situations on the other hand vary depending on the missions and other internal and external factors. An effective leader must therefore be able to adjust to these factors by assuming the most appropriate leadership style.

Leaders can be able to change their behavior. Using situational leadership style, leaders can be able to adjust their leadership style depending on leadership situations as well as nature of subordinate. The four leadership styles can be appropriate at different situations (Cooley 2001, para. 5).

Ability of a leader to choose the most appropriate style for a situation determines leadership success. For instance, when dealing with inexperienced subordinate, a leader can adopt directing leadership style. Through this style, leaders provide direct instructions on what is to be done and follows it up to ensure that the instructions are adhered to.

After the subordinates have gained a considerable experience, a leader can use coaching style where lever of follow up is reduced. Depending on the confidence of the leader on the subordinate, supporting and delegating styles can be adopted.

Currently, the business environment has become very competitive. In order to survive in this environment, it is vital for firm’s management team to consider developing and sustaining their competitive advantage. Leadership is one factors affecting competitive advantage.

Organizations with effective leaders are able forge their way in the competitive environment thus becoming successful. Situational leadership style is one of the most effective leadership styles in the changing business environment. By incorporating this style, a leader can be able to apply the most appropriate leadership style depending on situations.

Reference List

Cooley, R. 2001. Leadership in an action, not a word . Web.

Hughes, R., Ginnett, R. & Curphy, G., 2006, Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience . (5 th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Sharlow, B. 2006. Situational Leadership . Web.

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IvyPanda. (2022, April 11). Effective Situational Leadership. https://ivypanda.com/essays/situational-leadership-essay/

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The Situational Leadership Model

Situational leadership is one of the most commonly used leadership models in the contemporary world. Its history is rather short; however, its impact and effectiveness boost its popularity among some of the best business leaders today.

As business environments became more intense and densely populated, business leaders started to experience the need for a more adaptive and flexible style of leadership that would allow them to match their decision-making process, actions, and solutions to the unique situations faced on a daily basis. As a result, at the end of the 1960s when the consumerism patterns were on the rise, thus making the business segment especially active and dynamic in the capitalist world, the situational leadership model came into existence.

The theory for this model was developed by Dr. Paul Hearsey for the purpose of enabling leaders of various kinds and levels to impact their followers and subordinates in a more effective manner (“Situational leadership,” n.d.). According to this model, based on the evaluation of such factors as the followers’ need for guidance, readiness to work on a certain assignment, and the amount and quality of socio-emotional support given by the leader, the latter could decide which style matched the situation the most. In total, Hearsey outlined four of such styles – telling, selling, participating, and delegating (Dems, 2010; Spahr, 2015).

It is very difficult to identify the exact individual or individuals who are known as the first ones to practice situational leadership. This model is relatively new, and it emerged in modern times where many powerful business leaders compete for influence and income maximization.

Today, the situational leadership model is known as Hearsey-Blanchard Theory of situational leadership due to the contribution of Ken Blanchard, a well-known leadership expert and book author (“Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership theory,” 2016). The guidance for this theory involves such steps as the identification of the priority tasks, the evaluation of the followers’ ability and readiness to perform the expected duties, and the selection of the most suitable style based on the scheme offered by Hersey (“The situational leadership model,” n.d.).

A good example of situational leadership in action that can be found in the contemporary world of business is a leader working with two types of employees – the experienced professionals and the newly recruited interns. Such a leader will vary his or her style depending on how much supervision and guidance the employees require and switch between delegating and directing styles according to the level of experience of his subordinates.

In this paper, the choice fell on this particular model of leadership due to the fact that it is considered one of the most relevant to the contemporary business settings where the leaders have to work with a variety of changing scenarios and many different teams of employees whose levels of performance and autonomy tend to vary. Naturally, the exploration of this theory is going to be very helpful for any future leader as it presents a detailed scheme according to which decision-making process can be regulated in order to match the needs of both the leaders and their subordinates.

Situational leadership has a set of limitations and applies mainly to the leaders whose positions allow more freedom and variations in styles and solutions (“Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership theory,” 2016). Also, this model was criticized for very brief definitions of the styles and a limiting set of factors for a leader’s decision making that does not fit many unique scenarios (McCleskey, 2014). However, it applies very well to the problem of integrating the new employees into the workplace.

Dems, K. (2010). A look at the situational leadership model . Web.

Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership theory . (2016).

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5 (4), 117-130.

Situational leadership . (n.d.). Web.

The situational leadership model . (n.d.).

Spahr, P. (2015). What is situational leadership? How flexibility leads to success .

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  • Situational Leadership: A Reflection Paper

Situational Leadership: A Reflection Paper - Essay Example

Situational Leadership: A Reflection Paper

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Extract of sample "Situational Leadership: A Reflection Paper"

Situational Leadership: A Reflection Paper Situational Leadership: A Reflection Paper Definition of Situational Leadership The situational leadership designed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard simply focuses on the flexibility of leaders to apply styles, strategies and methods depending on the situation. The distinguishing element of Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership, as contrasted to other leadership theories is the maturity of followers, indicated as the readiness to perform in given situations (Hersey and Blanchard, 1998).

Under the situational leadership model, leaders are able to adjust their leadership styles depending on the level of maturity of followers, as well as balancing emphasis between task and relationship behaviors. Description of Situational Leadership Model The situational leadership model thereby identifies four styles: participating, delegating, selling and telling styles. Under the participating style, leaders encourage sharing of ideas where focus is on low task but high relationships behavior.

The delegating style, as the term indicates, allows subordinates to take responsibilities, where there is also low task and low relationships behavior. The selling style exemplifies high relationships and high tasks as the leaders clearly explain directions in a persuasive and supportive way. Finally, the telling style focuses on high tasks but low relationships where leaders acknowledge the need to clearly give directions and monitor accomplishments of tasks (Leadership, n.d., pp. 3 & 4). Application of Situational Leadership in the Workplace With a convenience store as a work setting, the situational leadership model is applicable in terms the leaders’ ability to evaluate the situation and the level of followers’ maturity.

The inventory manager, for example, who is in charge of ensuring that products are inventoried, monitored and reordered, as required, need to determine the competencies of the subordinates tasked with monitoring the inventory level. The responsibility is deemed high is task and low in relationship. When the subordinate assigned to work on monitoring the inventory level is relatively inexperienced, the telling style is the most appropriate style that the inventory manager should apply. Specific and clear instructions must be relayed to identify re-order points, slow moving products versus fast selling, and deliveries of these products reordered.

The tasks are crucial and must be monitored closely so that there would be minimal errors and the store’s levels of products are replenished, as needed. For store managers in charge of personnel who directly assist and face the customers, more relationship behavior is required and low task that therefore requires a participating style. The store manager must emphasize the need to familiarize themselves with the store’s products to effectively assist customers’ inquiries and needs. Likewise, there is a need to share ideas since subordinates directly interact with customers and therefore, are potential recipients of customer feedback that need to be relayed immediately to management for appropriate strategies and interventions.

Conclusion The situational leadership developed by Hersey and Blanchard received positive response due to its applicability in diverse organizations and environments. The ability of leaders to adapt and adjust to situations, depending on the level of maturity of followers are highly crucial for the successful operation of day-to-day activities. By applying the appropriate leadership styles, subordinates are motivated into working at maximized capacities that are beneficial for the attainment of organizational goals.

Reference Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K.H. (1998). Management and Organizational Behavior. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

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