The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority. – Ken Blanchard
Situational Leadership II, the well tested leadership model authored by Ken Blanchard, applies to anyone striving to be an effective leader.
Think back to the leader in your life who was the most effective for you. Was it a coach, teacher, or perhaps a former boss or colleague?
Often our most effective leaders are able to be flexible to meet our developmental needs based upon the task we are completing. A situational leader adapts their leadership behaviors to match the needs of a person learning or performing a task. They grow with us instead of always throwing the same pitch.
On any given day, a leader has three choices: over-supervise, under-supervise, or match the needs of those they lead. Which would you choose to do to others or have done to you?
Consider how this impacts an entire organization.
Imagine the impact of a collective group of leaders effectively matching the needs of associates. Productivity and morale would surely increase with the most effective leadership behaviors being shown.
For close to 15 years I have partnered with organizations to help improve the competence and commitment of associates by teaching the Situational Leadership II model. Organizations invest in this training, because they want to elevate the performance of associates by shifting their culture from a command and control environment to one of empowerment and self-reliance.
See if this scenario rings true for your organization:
An associate is hired to perform a job. This could be any job – from accounting to engineering to crushing rock. They learn the tasks necessary for the job and become a competent, trusted team member. They are then promoted to lead other associates who are tasked with learning the same job. After a honeymoon period, the team begins to feel frustrated because the new leader is micromanaging them on some tasks while ignoring their needs on others. Likewise, the new leader is similarly frustrated. They are losing confidence and disengaging. This results in senior leadership taking away responsibilities from the new leader and replacing them with another member of the team. Repeating the same pattern within multiple teams for many years.
Doing a task at an expert level does not equate to being an expert in leading others at that task.
Situational Leadership II creates a shared language between associates and leaders. It shifts the concept of leadership from something we do to other people to one where we do it with others. Effective leadership is a partnership built on a common language.
Recently, I was facilitating a session when a manager expressed frustration. He was sure that one of his associates was lazy. He elaborated that when they worked closely together he usually took over in an effort to teach the associate the correct way to complete the task. The manager was teaching by using a show and tell model. When he left the associate to do the task alone, nothing was accomplished correctly. The task was started but not completed.
After learning the Situational Leadership II model, the manager discovered that his preferred method of training others was not effective. The associate was not lazy, but simply untrained on the task and was likely frustrated by the lack of progress. The manager learned how to adapt his leadership style to the associate’s level of readiness, and committed to trying something different when he returned to work. He now understood that no one style is considered optimal for all leaders to use all the time.
Innerwill’s clients find that Situational Leadership II gives their organizations a simple and effective framework to train all associates to partner together to create high performing teams with high morale.