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The Center for Leadership Studies is recognized on the Top 20 Leadership Training Companies List! It was longer ago than I care to admit but, at the same time, it’s something I remember like it was yesterday. Only over a period of time, by receiving the appropriate leadership styles, do employees reach the levels of confidence and competence that enable them to increase their productivity and effectiveness on given goals and tasks.
Today's best leaders provide an environment where people can stretch, learn, and share their talents. Depending on the direct reports' levels of competence and commitment you'll find that they will fall into one of four stages of development with that particular goal or task.
For a long time, people thought there were only two leadership styles??autocratic and democratic. We believe that managers who restrict themselves to either extreme are bound to be ineffective ?°half managers.?± Whole managers are flexible and able to adapt their leadership style to the situation. To bring out the best in others, leadership must match the development level of the person being led.
Partnering opens up communication between you and your direct reports and increases the quality and frequency of your conversations. For example, suppose that you diagnosed one of your people on a particular task as a Self-Reliant Achiever. Suppose another one of your people is new and you decide that person needs, at a minimum, a coaching style. In both cases, you might have made the right diagnosis, but since your people didn't understand your rationale, they misinterpreted your intentions. The leader might say, ?°How would it be if I set a goal that I believe will stretch you but is attainable, and then develop an action plan for you that will enable you to reach that goal? On the other hand, suppose a direct report is a Self-Reliant Achiever on a particular goal and, therefore, can handle a delegating leadership style. If the direct report says yes, he or she can take action until his or her performance or communication suggests differently. With better leadership, people become more skillful, adaptable, and open to new challenges and change. At one of the world's largest banking institutions, earnings were up across the board, employee turnover was down, and the bank was ranked first among major U.S. At one of the largest privately owned, family-run specialty coffee and tea retailers in the world, impact studies show improved store sales, improved retention, dramatically improved working relationships, and cost savings of $500,000. Through effective leadership, successful organizations are showing that they can increase overall productivity, positively influence other key metrics, and directly impact the bottom line. Leaders looking to improve their effectiveness with their direct reports should evaluate the way they diagnose development level, adjust their leadership style, and reach agreements with direct reports about using these leadership styles in day-to-day management situations.
It’s the kind of line that, no matter how hard you may have tried, you can’t get it out of your head. In doing what wound up being “unintentional research” for this blog, we ran that little exercise with several people at work. So, in full acknowledgement of the “cheesy” segue, we would like to transition from the world of cinematography to the world of leadership development and take a stab at answering “Bob’s” question. Understanding: Leaders need to be able to articulate the gap between “what is” and “what is needed or desired” in a manner that is both clear and actionable. Development: When an individual or group is learning something for the first time, confidence is usually the most important element of willingness that needs to be monitored. Regression: With regression, motivation is frequently the component of willingness that is most in play.
Usually, learners identify that 50% or more of their influence attempts are lateral or up in the organization (sometimes those percentages are far greater than 50%). Application Challenge:Do you think you know what it is your leaders “do here?” Click on the link below to be guided through the competency model and leadership curriculum and identify your organization’s most pressing leadership skill gaps.
The Situational Leadership® Model is arguably the most recognized, utilized and effective leadership and influence tool in the history of the behavioral sciences. Situational Leadership®, which stresses flexibility and simplicity in execution, can equip leaders in your organization with the tools necessary to skillfully navigate the demands of an increasingly diverse workforce and evolving global marketplace.
Frontline managers have a challenging role as they are asked to deliver on expectations that have been established by others above them to a range of individuals below them.
Our Situational Frontline Leadership program is based on our highly successful Situational Leadership® II Model and shows frontline managers how to diagnose individual situations and employ core communication skills to partner for performance. Managers, internal coaches, and Human Resource professionals who need a shared process, language, and model to bridge performance and to achieve expected results can benefit from this program.
This is a€?Management Stylesa€?, section 9.2 from the book Beginning Management of Human Resources (v. This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS.
For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page.
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One of the most famous Fortune 500 management styles is the GE Way, which has been discussed in numerous books and articles. Management styles are one of the most challenging topics we can deal with in a work setting. When we look at the styles of management, we see that most styles fall into one of two categories, a task-oriented management style or a people-centered style.
A manager with a task-oriented styleA management style that tends to focus on the details of what must get done.
A people-orientedA management style mostly concerned with the interpersonal relationships within the organization. Understanding these two main differences in management style, we will now look at other possible styles a manager might use.
Utilization of a participatory management styleA management style that focuses on task-centered and people-oriented styles. A manager who uses a teamwork management styleA highly people-centered approach to management in which relationships are most important. An autocratic styleA management style that takes a task-only focus and tends to make most of the decisions for the department. On the other hand, a participative styleA management style that seeks input from employees. At the other extreme, a free-rein styleA management style that gives employees freedom to make decisions. The path goal theory says that the role of a leader is to define goals and lay down the path for the employees to meet those goals. It is great to talk about management style, but application of that management style, especially in an HR environment, is just as important as knowing the management styles. The model looks at three areas: the relationship behavior of the manager, the task behavior of the manager, and the readiness of employees.
D4a€”High Competence, High Commitmenta€”Experienced at the job and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. D2a€”Some Competence, Low Commitmenta€”May have some relevant skills but wona€™t be able to do the job without help.


The bottom line when discussing management style is that no one style works best in all situations. Just like in communication, a different management style should be used depending on the employee. Task styles focus on getting the job done, while people-centered styles focus on relationships.
An autocratic style doesna€™t allow much room for employee decision making; the focus is on getting the task done. The situational leadership model, which looks at relationship behavior, task behavior, and the readiness of employees, is used to recommend different management styles. Why is it important to understand management style if you are an HR professional or manager?
Without the proper leadership styles, most employees end up achieving only a moderate level of performance on key tasks instead of pushing through to the highest level possible. Great leaders focus on efficiently and effectively helping to transform beginners and learners into peak performers.
Competence can be gained through formal education, on-the-job training, and experience, and it can be developed over time with appropriate direction and support. In fact, people used to shout at each other from these two extremes, insisting that one style was better than the other. Is the direct report new and inexperienced about the task at hand??a D1 Enthusiastic Beginner? As your direct reports move from one development level to the next, your style should change accordingly.
This skill is about gaining your direct reports' permission to use the leadership style that is a match for their development level.
Then, I'd like to meet with you on a regular basis to discuss your progress and provide any help you need as you get started. If, in either of the two examples??the Enthusiastic Beginner or the Self-Reliant Achiever??the direct report doesn't agree, what should happen? Without appropriate leadership, the development levels of employees can stagnate or even regress.
All people have peak performance potential??you just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there. People who work for a company that provides leadership training for a living would naturally identify (at some level) with a quote that gets to the heart of organizational behavior.
Hersey first addressed the “what do leaders do” question by identifying three core, common and critical leadership competencies (Diagnosing, Adapting and Communicating).
There are multiple variables to consider and a variety of different contingencies to proactively take into account. We respond with the best of intentions and implement an approach that “feels right” on the basis of our own personal value programming. The more a follower sees himself or herself “having what it takes” to effectively perform a particular task, the more insecurity gives way to confidence and motivation. In its most typical form, a follower has mastered a task and has lost a certain amount of enthusiasm or dedication to continue to perform it. Ultimately, leaders bear responsibility for “managing that movement” by acting as catalysts for development and collaborative impediments for regression. For us, this is ongoing confirmation that leadership is most accurately defined as “an attempt to influence” and that influence is multi-directional. Paul Hersey in the late 1960s, the Situational Leadership® Model is a powerful, yet flexible tool that enables leaders of all kinds; managers, salespeople, peer leaders, teachers or parents to more effectively influence others. Infinitely adaptable to any circumstance, the model prepares leaders to address the most pressing challenges pervasive in today’s work environment. Bridging this gap between corporate expectations and delivered results requires a special skill set to establish effective partnerships with individuals who are at varying stages of professional and personal development.
This two-day or three-day program is based on new approaches to adult learning theory and teaches frontline managers how to provide clear and specific direction, actively listen, offer feedback, and how to enhance self-esteem of team members.
See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed.
There isna€™t necessarily one management style that is better than another; they are simply different and might be used in a variety of situations. In fact, GE has traditionally been the recruiting ground for other companiesa€™ CEO searches. Everyone is different; everyone has a preference for which style motivates them the best in a variety of situations.
In this section, we will discuss how and when you might use each style when managing people. This model, developed by Ken Blanchard (author of the One Minute Manager series of books), does a good job explaining how we might use one type of management style versus another. The relationship behavior means how supportive the manager needs to be in helping employees. We may be more comfortable with one style versus another, but we need to change our management style depending on the person and task we are working with.
First, in HR, we are the a€?go toa€? people when there are communication issues or issues between management and employees. Just like with communication, you will likely want to vary your approach based on the situation to get the best results. Your staff has an excellent record of achieving goals, and your relationship with them is trusting and supportive.
A situation has developed in which you need to make quick decisions and finish a project by the end of the week. The challenge then is for organizations to develop their employees to reach higher levels as quickly and efficiently as possible, thus improving productivity and overall corporate performance. Democratic managers were accused of being too soft and easy, while their autocratic counterparts were often called too tough and domineering. Yet, we found that problems developed because the people who managers were applying the model to didn't understand what the managers were doing and often misinterpreted their intentions. Second, getting permission ensures the direct report's buy in on the use of that style and increases his or her commitment. Since people's development levels can migrate anywhere from beginner to peak performer depending on the task at hand, the ability to utilize the appropriate leadership style is critical to maximizing productivity, morale, and long-term results.
You have invested about eight seconds in the review of this blog – and we’re betting you have that quote, and maybe several others, firmly implanted in the forefront of your consciousness.
For us, it’s a funny thing (as we believe the enclosed clip demonstrates) and it’s a serious thing, all at the same time.
In the process of re-validating this competency framework in October of 2011, CLS identified a fourth competency: Advancing. The way we see it, Emotional Intelligence and Business Acumen are the key building blocks for diagnostic skills. The language the leader uses is critical as the same words can mean different things to different people. We would suggest those conversations could be categorized as both frustrating and time-consuming.
In that regard, it is not a question of the follower asking himself or herself the question, “Can I do this?” but, conversely, asking the question (one way or another), “Is there something else I can do?” When leaders see regression, they need to intervene in a timely manner.


These three subsets of leaders, in combination with our four primary leadership competencies, have helped us identify 33 prioritized leadership skills.
You may also download a PDF copy of this book (27 MB) or just this chapter (1 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). HR managers can provide training on each of these areas since management style impacts the ability and motivation of employees to do their jobs.
When Jack Welch, the famous GE CEO known for several books on his management style, including Winning, retired and was replaced, it took less than a week for the two runners-up for his job to be offered jobs at other Fortune 500 companies.
Oftentimes managers make the mistake of using the same style for everyone, regardless of ability or motivation. The concern for this manager is that employees know what is expected of them and have the tools needed to do their job. Setting goals, making plans, and determining objectives are viewed as a group effort, rather than the manager making all the decisions.
The manager may establish a few objectives, but the employees can decide how those objectives are met.
Clarification of the employeea€™s role and clarification around how the success of the task will be measured are key aspects in this model. Task behavior refers to the type of style the manager should use when managing employees, based on their readiness level. This style can be used with people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed and who need direction and supervision to get them started. This approach can be used with people who have some competence but lack commitment and who need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced. This style can be used with people who have the necessary competence but lack confidence or motivation.
This style would work with people who have both competence and commitment and who are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support. For example, if you have an employee who is brand new, you will likely work with that person using a more directive style. By understanding these styles ourselves, it will be easier to communicate with and provide solutions for the people we work with. For example, if a direct report is an Enthusiastic Beginner who does not have much in the way of task knowledge and skill but is excited about taking on the task, this person obviously needs a directing leadership style. Unless I hear from you, or the information I receive tells me otherwise, I'll assume everything is fine. The absolute, most inconsistent thing you can do as a leader is to treat every person, and every situation, the same.
Beyond language, the tone, delivery and all-around effect of leader-initiated communication needs to be considered and customized based on the individual or group receiving the message. Communication is much more about “what followers hear” than it is about “what leaders say.” Effective leaders build credibility day in and day out with those they attempt to influence.
If done quickly enough, that intervention typically takes the form of a candid discussion focused on performance slippage with a high probability of effective resolution. In this section, we will discuss some of the main management styles and how to know which one to use in a specific situation.
The manager is most concerned about the welfare of the employee and tends to be friendly and trusting. Relationships are most important, and assuming the individuals work well together, the task will be successfully accomplished. This type of manager tends to tell people what to do and takes a a€?my way or the highwaya€? approach. In other words, the leader tends to be removed from the day-to-day activities but is available to help employees deal with any situation that may come up.
The leader also is involved in guidance and coaching surrounding the goal and removes obstacles for employees that might affect the completion of the task.
These individuals may also need support and praise to build their self-esteem and involvement in decision making to restore their commitment. These individuals may need little direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation. We might even be able to use this information to develop management training, which can result in better communication and higher productivity. That credibility translates to buy-in and buy-in translates into vision being placed into action.
The advantage to this style, given the type of task and situation, is that as a manager you are able to pool resources and abilities from several different people. The path goal theory says that if employees are satisfied by the leadership style, they will be motivated toward the goals of leadership. Likewise, someone who does good work and has lots of experience may prefer a free-rein style.
Beyond that, should anyone ever ask us: “What would you say … you do here?” We’ll be ready!
However, the command-and-control management style responsible for the success of GE did not work out well for several former GE executives. As a result, the focus is on the task but also on the person and the relationships required to get the task done. This person uses his or her authority and makes all the decisions as to who does what, how it is done, and when it should get done. Part of the model also stresses that the skills, experience, and environmental contingencies of the job play a role in the success of the leader.
Many managers make the mistake of trying to use the same style with every person in every situation. This style might be used when the employees are experienced and the deadlines reasonable enough to provide the time needed to focus both on the task and the person.
To be a great manager, we must change our styles based on the situation and the individual involved. The idea is to get people to do what you tell them to do, and if they dona€™t, there are major penalties, similar to an autocratic style.
As a result, grouplets are formed, and the grouplet works on their idea with no specific budget. For example, Nardellia insisted that shelves be stocked during off hours, and he instituted formal inventory control. Unfortunately, he didna€™t understand most employees were not looking to rise within the organization, so the extra work didna€™t provide any upside for the individuals, causing high turnover.
Consider a very tight deadline or an emergency situation in which someone needs to be calling the shots. An autocratic style may work well in some organizations, well enough for numerous books to be written, but management style isna€™t always transferable to other organizations, as Nardellia found out at Home Depot.
For example, in your doggie treats business, you just received an order for one hundred dog cookies by later this afternoon.
This style doesna€™t focus on the person, but rather focuses on getting the task done; hence it tends to be more of a task-oriented style.



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