In 1982, Dr Paul Hersey and the legendary leadership expert Ken Blanchard released the 4th edition of their ground-breaking book, “Management of Organizational Behaviour: Utilizing Human Resources”. Since its first edition, the book had been a runaway success. Revelatory in nature, it was changing mindsets across the business world. The 4th edition raised the stakes even higher. How? It was the edition that introduced the game-changing Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model.
Over the next three years the Hersey-Blanchard Leadership Model expanded and evolved until, in 1985, Ken Blanchard introduced the Situational Leadership II Model in his book, “A Situational Approach to Managing People”.
An article dedicated to comprehensively explaining the Situational Leadership II Model would be fascinating and intriguing. However, for the purposes of this blog, we’re just going to focus on the fundamentals. Primarily the defining principle of the model is that it encourages an adaptive and flexible leadership style. In contrast, it actively discourages a rigid “one-size-fits-all” leadership style.
This versatile approach is based upon a leader identifying which of four distinct categories a specific follower (employee) currently falls into, then adapting his leadership style accordingly. We say currently as the model recognises that employees will naturally move between categories, and it should be a stalwart of the leader’s modus operandi to constantly evaluate into which category an employee fits. The leader should then instigate one of the four following leadership styles:
Directing: Hands-on, leader driven. Most often utilised for new employees.
Coaching: Still leader driven but now with a recognition that the employee is becoming more competent, confident and are developing their abilities.
Supporting: A more relationship-focused style. This is for employees who are competent at their job but might be lacking confidence or underperforming.
Delegating: This style is utilised when the leader has complete confidence in the employee to achieve excellence in their given tasks with minimal supervision.
Time to take a look at some of the many ways in which situational leadership can improve your business:
If a leader is trained in situational leadership and instills those principals into his employees, they will inspire an upturn in productivity. Why? These leaders will work closely with their employees to identify what areas of the business need to be improved or transitioned in order to be more successful. The leader will then, along with his team, set goals, timelines and potential achievement targets. It is proven that when employees are included and genuinely involved in these exercises, it significantly increases engagement. The result is a team united, all pulling in the same direction towards a common goal.
By its very nature, situational leadership is inclusive. It encourages the leader to constantly involve his staff. Involve them in decision-making, target-setting, problem-solving, training colleagues and much more. It’s this participation which fosters a working environment thriving with collaboration. Considering 86% of executives and employees agree that lack of collaboration is a direct cause of failures in the workplace, ensuring that it is prevalent within a business is hugely beneficial.
A workforce trusted and empowered by their situational leadership-trained leader, will be a motivated workforce. A motivated workforce is a more creative workforce. A more productive workforce. These are good things.
Employee morale is proven to improve exponentially for companies onboard with the Situational Leadership II Model. It’s this higher morale, amongst other situational leadership-inspired factors, that ensures a high rate of staff retention. Employee turnover comes at a high cost for any organisation. It’s a drain on financial resources. Any improvement in this area can be the difference between a financially successful business and one that struggles.
A leader versed in the traits of situational leadership will be naturally adaptable. They will constantly be adapting and evolving their leadership style to suit individual employees. It’s this comfort with change that forms leaders who can excel and adapt to all manner of circumstances within the work environment.
Blanchard’s Situational Leadership II Model training has been used to train over 5 million leaders in the world’s most high-profile and respected organisations. It is based on over 30 years of incredibly in-depth research. It’s proven to increase productivity and reduce turnover across all levels of an organisations, spanning all kinds of industries. It’s a proven, time-tested leadership model. Put simply, the best leaders are situational leaders. So, how to go about instigating this training for your business here in the Middle East?
Biz Group is the region’s market-leading training solutions provider. They are the experts at developing your company’s leaders, helping you prepare them to lead your business into a successful future. Their training solutions are innovative, ground-breaking and proven to produce successful results.
To that end, Biz Group are proud to have partnered with the Blanchard Group to bring their world-renowned training programs to the Middle East. Click here to find out more.