Today’s workplace is forever changing
Today’s workplace is forever changing, job roles and personnel being a main factor in which every day can be a challenge. To regulate these elements a versatile figurehead is key in order to facilitate a successful company, whether the leader be using an Autocratic or Democratic influence or perhaps somewhere between these styles (as defined by Tannenbaum and Schmidt in their Leadership Continuum fig1).
Leader Centered Approach Team-Centered Approach
Leader announces decision Leader explains decision Leader invites questions Leader proposes solutions Leader invites solutions Team proposes decision Team decides
TELL SELL CONSULT DELEGATE
As mentioned – there are a variety of factors that can influence how different leadership styles are used. These factors can be not limited to:
• Team Skill Level and Experience
• Personnel Characteristics
• Task at hand
• Pressure (time, costs?)
• Our Own Leadership Qualities
The environment in which the style would be decided is dependent on the whether the leadership needs to be far more direct where set routines are in place such as on a factory production line, or whether more freedom and flexibility are needed to allow workforce to make decisions for themselves, which in turn creates a more relaxed atmosphere and usually a more productive one.
Looking at Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model fig 2 it makes it easier to visualize how Team Skill and Experience relates to Leadership styles:-
The graph quantifies experience of the team, where at S1 there is specific instructions given and closely supervised performance signifying low skill level or possible work ethic to get the job done, through to S4 where the workforce would need less supervision and be left to work themselves.
Personnel characteristics come in to play with how the habits or motivation of team (or individuals) affect their work. This behavior has been theorized by Douglas McGregor in his “Theory X and Theory Y (or Theory XY)” principle. Where a person in the “X” category would benefit most from an Authoritarian leadership, where “X” is mostly made up of people from the S1 sector, needing constant supervision and specific instruction on what has to be done. To the other end of the scale, where Theory Y personnel lie within the S4 quadrant, and may have the freedom to make decisions, and act upon them accordingly with very little guidance or supervision. S2 and S3 types fall mainly within the zone where a balanced leadership approach would work best. Where inviting questions and solutions from their team, but and also proposing solutions on best way to complete the task at hand.
Each of these Leadership styles have their own strengths and weaknesses, and as such may depend on the