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As I mentioned briefly on my previous blog entry, situational leadership is one of common leadership theories in literature. The methodology of Situational Leadership can be seen as deploying the right way of leadership to the right type of the followers. Kleanthis what i meant was not different from our mutual thoughts of leadership in general. Situational Leadership® II (SLII) is the most comprehensive and practical method of effectively managing and developing people, time, and resources in the world. SLII® is recognized as both a common language and a framework for employee development because it works across cultural, linguistic, and geographical barriers. First-time managers and managers with one or more direct reports who want to increase the frequency and quality of conversations about performance and development to gain commitment and retain talent. In theory, drawing many together to solve a common problem sounds like a much more efficient and productive way to address an issue rather than leaving it for the individual. While preparation and direction from the leader is imperative to the success of the team, there is no leader who can single handedly make his team succeed. Often a team will fail because the task itself is either one which only requires minor effort or produces a variety of viable solutions.
Teams can be very productive but proper preperation and evaluation of the problem is the most important step in beging to find a solution.
Anyone with kids knows how complex it can be to discover what type of parenting style you need to adapt to help your kids thrive in today’s world. The situational approach to leadership focuses on leadership in different situations and realizes that different situations may demand different kinds of leadership (Northouse, pg.
Using this example, my son is much more advanced than my daughter, but still does not know it all in the world, although he may think that he does. My daughter on the other hand, at 2 years old, is already showing that she is the social butterfly of the family. Using the situational leadership approach, I am able to adapt my parenting style for each of my two children. We can all say with confidence that situations change, people change, and relationships change. The MBTI® served as a tool to my knowing better myself and my predispositions, but I am sure it does not capture me as a full human being. If no theory is ultimate, why can’t we combine different theories to better understand our behaviors and even our leaders and followers? That is exactly what some people have been doing by combining the psychodynamic approach, namely through the MBTI®, the style approach, and the situational approach.
Using Berens’s (1998) temperament theory,  Myers, Kirby, and Myers (1998) developed a temperament scale through the MBTI® profiles by combining information gathering (S-N dichotomy) with attitudes (J-P dichotomy) for sensing types (the second letter as an “S”) and decision making (T-F dichotomy) for intuitive types (the second letter as an “N”).
I like the situational leadership theory, and I believe that it fits into my life every day as a mother. If I wrote of all of the situations where I had to be a leader for her, I would need to write a book. When it came down to Dezirae’s last few days, we had to decide if we wanted her to die in our home or die in a hospital.
In my personal experience, ineffective or inappropriate leadership styles can directly affect turnover in an office environment. For the first five and a half years that I worked in the local branch of at a national payroll company, our manager was Chris. As a manager, Chris was very much a team manager, able to consider the corporate expectations and the local employees. Fast forward 140 minutes, and I was left with the full-blown realisation that this film could teach managers a thing about working with their teams.
Of course, the film is not real life, and your work environment will no doubt be very different. Anyway…the Model describes how managers, by flexing their style, should ‘give’ people what they can’t ‘find’ for themselves. It’s a film about a handyman in China (Mr Han, played by Jackie Chan) who teaches a boy from Detroit (Dre Parker, played by Jaden Smith) the skills of Kung Fu to defend himself against a group of bullies.
Whichever version of the film you prefer, who can forget the clear, concise instruction of ‘hang it up, take it down’ in the 2010 version, or the ‘wax on, wax off’ line of the 1984 original. In Situational Leadership terms, those initial, repetitive commands of ‘hang it up, take it down’ fit very well into the ‘Structuring’ Style.
Han begins to move away from Structuring as Parker begins to respond to Han’s clear rules and discipline. As the film continues to unfold from ‘instructor’ to ‘friend’, there is a scene where Han appears to completely lose control and begins to repeatedly smash his car. In Situational leadership terms, the Coaching Style is valuable for when two-way conversations are required, when the involvement of the other person is important for seeking commitment to next steps. Using the Coaching style well requires good, focussed questions that are about the task as well as the person.
This is the 3rd Style and is most useful when an individual needs reminding of their value as a person, not just as a task achiever.
Equally, the Encouraging approach is valuable for when someone has had a setback and needs reminding of their worth – and that their ability is not in question.
Thank you for reading ‘The Karate Kid and Managing Others’. How about reading the following 3 insightful posts too?
If you got a little something from reading this post please share with others by clicking on one of the sharing buttons below because they may found this post useful too and be thankful to you for sharing it with them. Being a Leader, Being Transparent about You August 21, 2014 By Darren A. The Belief Formula that will help you achieve your business goals July 13, 2014 By Darren A.
The Ultimate Guide to Knowing How to Leave an Effective Voicemail February 19, 2014 By Darren A.
Basically, depending on followers’ readiness level in terms of psychological and knowledge-based, a leader is able to put forth different leading style. Let’s assume that one of our subordinates is not capable of doing a task alone, because of the lack of competence and confidence. To sum up, the leadership style is not totally fixed in the situational leadership model; however, it is flexible enough to adapt to different styles over time depending on the self-development of people. SLII provides leaders with a model and the tools for creating open communication and developing self-reliance in those they manage. The foundation lies in teaching leaders to diagnose the needs of an individual or a team and then use the appropriate leadership style to respond to the needs of the person and the situation. In many cases this is true and there is an absolute value in combining the varied experiences and strengths of others to approach a problem.
They are there to facilitate the collaboration, referee personalities, direct efforts, and provide guidance.
Teams will go around in circles trying to decide on the most beneficial solution when any of the options will serve.
I have a five (5) year old and a seven (7) year old and their personalities couldn’t be much more different than oil and water.
As the leader of my household, I must adjust my leadership style to each child depending on the situation and which child it is. Using this model, I would place my son at a D3 level, and often have to be more supportive and give less direction with his homework.
She is a lot more sneaky than my son was at her age, and tends to do what she wants without listening. If I were to simply act how I am naturally, which is probably a balance between supportive and directive, all of the time with both children, I would properly not be able to achieve as much with them. Even though mark has previous experience in this field, he is required to learn the policies and practices of Chris’s company.
Although Steve now has one year of experience and is familiar with the company yet he still requires the S2 coaching style with high supportive leadership and high directive leadership.
He has been employed at many levels in the company but is now simply working as an agent for Chris in order to meet his financial needs and eventually retire.
On a personal account, the MBTI® has been an important tool to look inside myself and understand some patterns of behavior that I have always displayed.
We are far too complex for any psychometric or psychological type tool to predict how we will behave in any situation. Coming back to the point, as I have previously shared on my posts (leaders of the world – know yourselves and leadership and obedience), there are no ultimate tools and every paradigm or theory is still partial no matter how comprehensive it might be right now. And that is what the MBTI® with Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® II Assessment provides. Maybe leadership theories are just like leaders and followers – they need each other to make sense of the world around them.
Using the Myers-Briggs® instrument with Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® assessment.

We’ll review the model for Situational Leadership developed by Hersey and Blanchard, as well as assess how this model can be used to evaluate leadership situations before going into them. You estimate they’re at a D3 maturity level, so you use the matching S3 leadership style. In grade school it may mean taking the lead on a small project, in College I might try and lead a group through an assignment, as a father I try to lead my 6 year old down the right path by setting examples of good behavior, manners, etc. My job is to be an expert on everything we offer as a company, and I mostly work with the sales team to train them on technique to increase their sales ability. When they did find the diagnosis of Sandhoff disease she was aspirating all of her food and fluids into her lungs which cased pneumonia.
She had apnea, seizures every two minutes, was on constant oxygen, had 16 different medications that had to be regulated and scheduled, she had to get a trache, she had physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, she was blind, deaf, and could not move by the time she turned two. Based on the situation and our family, we decided to have her die at home, in her big comfy bed, surrounded by me, her dad, and her siblings.
Our staff was made up of mostly tenured employees, who had been with the company anywhere from five to twenty years and had a great deal of knowledge, as well as the motivation to do the job. Immediately, there was a clash between the customer service culture of our area, and her numbers driven sales background. Situational leadership isn’t something that you do to people, rather it’s what you do with people. It depends entirely on the work ‘situation’ that an individual finds themselves in and how confident, willing and able they are, or feel that they are, in that situation. It was the 2010 version of these words, repeated over and over again, that were responsible for my initial living room ‘aha’. In fact, we see the boy, Parker, displaying over-confidence and yet getting things so very wrong due to an utter lack of ability. Parker’s confidence becomes a little dented as it dawns on him that Kung Fu really isn’t as easy as it first appeared. Suddenly, the ‘power’ shifts towards the boy and his transition towards maturity is observed.
We see Han quietly watching his protege, intervening when he needs to correct the task, walking away when he is not needed. Typical conversations might include where an individual needs to be both supported and challenged to grow their ability from the ‘inside’. Listening needs to be equally effective to increase understanding of how best to move an individual forward. Not wanting to give the game away… but before a particular display of Kung Fu, we see Han giving Parker several non-verbal displays of encouragement from the side lines…enough to keep his pupil motivated and valued. Using our ‘sticky learning’ your people can be the best version of themselves for the long term.
It is designed to increase the frequency and quality of conversations about performance and development. However, I believe common leadership style trends have recently begun to rely on this method as the standard. Teams create their own realities and control their own destinies to a much greater extent than most team leaders realize.
But as a parent, the old concepts of “treat them both the same” and “what you do to one you must do to the other” couldn’t be more wrong. Keeping the same military approach to both girls will not work based on their personalities and I think this is the mistake of some less effective leaders within our organizations. The key to situational leadership is finding the balance between directive and supportive dimensions that has to balance out the commitment of your subordinates, or in this case, the kids. He absorbs the information extremely quickly and his able to do most of his homework on his own.
Leaders in these situations often adapt when one-on-one with the people of various situations.
Chris has taken a directive approach, focusing on goal achievement in the beginning weeks of employment. The elements in the SLII Model illustrate an effective image in order to visualize the leadership styles combining with subordinate development levels. For the purposes of this post, I will side with Furnham (1996) and assume the test does have two intrinsic characteristics of scientific instruments: reliability and validity. Jung’s theory predicted that people would have preferences in the ways of dealing with the outer world, collecting information, and processing information. Leadership and the one minute manager: Increasing effectiveness through situational leadership.
The big five versus the big four: The relationship between the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and NEO-PI five factor model of personality. Introduction to type: A guide to understanding your results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. As far as you can tell, they have some of the necessary skills to reach the department’s goals, but not all of them.
You coach them through the project’s goals, pushing and teaching where necessary, but largely leaving them to make their own decisions. As a professional, I am starting to learn each and every day what type of leader I really am. As a trainer, I have to adjust my training depending on the audience, and their current knowledge level. Every day I see conflicts in my house with my kids (or my husband) that demand leadership based on the situation. While each individual may have varied slightly, as a group we would have been considered D4 employees, with not only the competence, but the commitment as well. A typical weekly meeting included reviewing the goals, where we were in the progress, how we had succeeded with some and what needed done for others. I was beginning to work weekends because Lisa didn’t want to pay overtime, it would look bad on her budget. Questions are asked not to spark discussion, but with the purpose of seeking understanding. Han asks no questions and most often he responds with silence, apart from the bare essentials to enable Parker to achieve the task at hand. Han pulls away from one-way instruction and shows an interest in his pupil’s wavering confidence and ability. The balancing scene that follows shows how they begin to work in tandem to share the next part of their journey together. Without this style at the right time with the right person, individual growth cannot effectively happen. Two heads are better than one!” … Well, I’m here as an advocate for just the opposite and to explain why a team mentality can actually be counter productive.
This misapplied collaboration can be prone to delaying an outcome and even produce long-term project setbacks as well as time consuming personnel conflicts. What I’ve learned over my past seven years of fatherhood is that you have to treat each child differently based on their personality and the SITUATION.
As leaders in the organizations, a way size fits all approach does not work because you have different personalities. Making it frustrating at times to determine what is the best route to take to help mu children. Using the situational leadership approach, the leader must first determine the level that the subordinate is on in development, and based on that determine what type of leadership they should provide as far as how much direction of support the subordinate may need. Situational leadership is an approach that, unlike many other theories or approaches, takes a prescriptive angle to leadership.
The 4 development levels range from D1 (low, developing) to D4 (high, developed) (Northouse, 2013).
Chris gives instruction through a calendar of events and training modules to be completed by certain dates.
At the majority of the time an S4 style is employed where Bob knows what is expected of him and they share a daily check in so they are on the same page yet Bob is in charge of his schedule and Chris rarely intervenes. Chris and his team offer an exclusive look into the everyday changing environment as it applies to the SLII Model of situational leadership. As a result, their relationship with you is strengthened, and the team’s efforts are a success. If I don’t come across as extremely competent in my teachings, then nothing from my trainings will be retained. For example, a training I do for management looks and sounds much different than one I do for other employees. But just because someone is a manager, and has position power, doesn’t make them a leader. When I look at how situational leadership has formed me over the past few years, I think it is a strong point for myself. I had to weigh out many options based on the situations at hand to make the best choices for my daughter and give her the best quality of life that I could.

She wanted the numbers to be reached and had little interest in individuals, beyond what we could do to get her there. So I was sent home early on Fridays and told to come in on the new pay period over the weekend.
We see teacher working more closely with pupil – offering more challenge yet more support also. Roles have changed – the task element is decreasing to the point that pupil is helping the teacher. He is performing at the top of his game– it’s his confidence that needs to be maintained now.
Watching your team members operate with confidence and ability with very little need of you. The key to proper collaboration is preparation on the part of the leader as well as the team members. Being critical to one person may not affect person A, but person B may be devastated and their work performance may get worse. Whether it be with homework, learning, potty training, etc, it can be a very complex situation to determine how the raise them. Because of her age and her natural personality that is already showing through, she needs a lot more direction. In other words, the approach can be viewed as guidelines to the leadership that should be taken.
The 4 leadership styles and development levels are used in the various stages on Chris’s team.
The supportive behavior is low at this point in their relationship although it has recently been evolving.
Chris offers his own “curbside coaching” in which after they are finished at an appointment they discuss practices that were employed. Because people look up to me at my company, I would consider myself a leader within the organization. Overall however, I try to take a transformational approach in an effort to gain more personal power. The entire staff understood that there was an open door policy, and if one of us had a suggestion on bettering a process or reaching a goal, Chris was happy to give that person the lead on implementation, while offering support when needed. Richard Hackman, the Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University and a leading expert on teams, has spent a career exploring—and questioning—the wisdom of teams. How they were raised is if you punish one for stomping away, you punish the other for the same thing. I usually try to tell my son what a good job he is doing, and offer prizes, etc for such good work to continue to motivate him in school. With this style, also called the directing style, I often have to gie instruction about what and how goals need to be achieved (Northouse, pg. Although in these settings leaders will more times than not be faced with leading an entire group, the focus can often come down to the interactions between the leader and each follower individually.
Mark has only recently joined the team but has previous experience in their field of operation.
The line into S2 has been crossed more frequently now that will has some time in with the company.
Chris always elicits input from Steve in order to boost his confidence and build their relationship.
Although Bob has been with the company for so long, it has been a substantial amount of time since he has been out on his own, not in management. By using a model called the SLII (shown below) or Situational Leadership II, developed by Hersey and Blanchard, you view the leadership style needed as you evaluate the development levels of the employees. Personal power however, is the influence capacity a leader gets from being seen by followers as knowledgeable, or likeable.
As a leader, but also a trainer, my main goal is to initiate positive change so people can be more effective at their job. My daughter could not support herself to sit up, could barely feed herself, and could not roll over. I took the situation and became a leader for my daughter, while fighting to give her a life she deserved.
The office ran like a well oiled machine, with limited office bickering, even when the entire supervisor and management team had to be out of town for training. It was a company I could see myself working for, for many years, had it not be for the direct influence of her leadership or lack thereof.
Before kids, I would have agreed with this philosophy, but afterwards I can completely throw this theory out of the window (I already threw it out exactly five years ago). Tell me I’m not doing something to the best of my ability and I’ll go without sleep for days to prove you wrong. Situational leadership handles situations individually by accommodating individuals by combining their skill set (competence) and their commitment to the organization. Steve has been with Chris’s team for just under a year and this is his first time in the industry.
Mark and Chris are developing their interactions and Mark is beginning to be more self-sufficient. Those development levels are evaluated first in order to determine if the employees have the competence to accomplish the task or job they are being asked to do. By acting as a transformational leader, people will believe that I have their growth and development above my own, which is true. After those five and a half years, Chris received a (well deserved) promotion and was transferred out of state. Naturally, that built a culture of fear and insecurity, worried our jobs weren’t safe. Ironically, at the same time I turned in my notice, two other employees also gave notice the same week, proving that leadership styles can absolutely affect employee retention within a company.
The directive and supportive behaviors discussed with the situational approach are very important concepts to know and to understand. For example, with getting her to go to the body, or clean up her toys, or follow instructions in general, I have no choice but to be more direct with her and let her know exactly what will need to be done and how.
By assessing each follower on an individual basis the leader can adjust and adapt their style of leadership appropriately.
Bob has been with this company for over 30 years, was in management for 20 years, and is now simply finishing out his remaining few years before eligible for retirement.
In way of development, Mark is steadily reaching D2 but still mainly in D1 which is consistent with leadership style. Bob will explain what issues he is encountering and Chris offers a fresh perspective in way of advice, generally something Bob has not yet used.
When working for this type of leader myself, I have found that I am more motivated by my own success because I don’t want to let that leader down.
The office ran successfully for many weeks with only the supervisors and staff, while his replacement was hired.
You never know you may have a Nyah or a Mia and you have to know their personalities in order to effectively manage them….and one sizes does not fit all.
The development by Blanchard (1985) of the SLII Model will be used to demonstrate a manager I deal with frequently. Each category can be applied in majority to each of them yet it will show that it also changes as the situations change. The Supporting Style in S3 is the next level for Steve’s career and relationship with Chris. Employees began to call out sick more, there were frequent conversations of dreading coming to work, and customer service scores began to waver. She is very kind mannered, she cares what you think about her, she is success driven, she is competitive, she is extremely intelligent, she is mindful and she aims to please.
Their relationship displays support back and forth interaction yet very little to no directive style. Nyah is the girl that will cry if I discipline her by saying, “Daddy is disappointed in you”.
Bob is developed with only small needs to vary his level of development therefore his is classified as D4. Chris has 3 subordinates, each with a unique set of abilities, commitment to their company, and a relationship with Chris.
Mia is the princess, the fashion icon, the play shoe heel wearer, the caring, loving, sharing, and emotional girl. Mia however does not aim to please, she doesn’t care about what you think and she has no sense of authority.

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