The Situational Leader
Ken Blanchard, the author of Leadership and the One Minute Manager, states that to be an effective manager one must be a situational leader employing, “Different strokes for different folks” (Blanchard, 1985). Situational leadership suggests that there is no “best” style of leadership, but rather there is an appropriate leadership style for a particular individual, situation, or task. Blanchard proposes that successful managers are responsive, and able to adapt their leadership style to the maturity or development level of the individual or group. Development level speaks to the level of competence which is, “a function of ...view middle of the document...
A whole manager is flexible and is able to use four different leadership styles” (Blanchard, 1985).
Directing is a style where the leader provides specific instructions and closely supervises task accomplishment. Directing is appropriate for those individuals that lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. A good example would be a newly hired employee. They more than likely lack the knowledge, skills, or experience to accomplish tasks on their own, but are enthusiastic about learning their new job. They need more direction and guidance, and often welcome it openly, to get them started and build confidence.
Using the coaching style the leader continues to direct closely, but also explains decisions, encourages suggestions, and supports progress. Coaching would be appropriate for an employee that has developed some competence, but their initial enthusiasm or commitment has worn off. They still need direction and guidance because of their inexperience. Also to restore some of that enthusiasm and self-esteem it is important to praise their successes and include them in some decision making.
Supporting calls for the leader to facilitate and support employee’s efforts towards accomplishing tasks as well as sharing responsibility of decision making. Supporting would be appropriate with a highly...