The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory
Choosing the Right Leadership Style for the Right People
The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory was created by Dr Paul Hersey, a professor and author of “The Situational Leader,” and Ken Blanchard, author of the best selling “One-Minute Manager,” among others.
The theory states that instead of using just one style, successful leaders should change their leadership styles based on the maturity of the people they’re leading and the details of the task. Using this theory, leaders should be able to place more or less emphasis on the task, and more or less emphasis on the relationships with the people they’re leading, depending on what’s needed to get the job done successfully.
A leader who can step back and encourage team members to put forward ideas in their areas of expertise will generally have a much more engaged, productive team. One of my favourite books calls this “Leading from any Chair”. The book is “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. http://www.benjaminzander.com/book/ Benjamin describes how much better an orchestra could perform when the conductor allowed the orchestra members to suggest better ways to play the music and even to conduct sometimes. Orchestras are traditionally very heirarchical and structured organizations.
The Secret: What Great Leaders Know — And Do
In the now classic business fable, The Secret, Debbie, a struggling leader finds herself about to lose her job due to poor performance. In a desperate attempt to save her career, she enrolls in a new mentoring program offered by her company. Much to her surprise, Debbie finds her mentor is the president of the company (Jeff Brown). Debbie decides that all she needs is the answer to one question, ‘What is the secret of great leaders?’ Over the next 18 months Jeff explains to Debbie that the secret is rooted in an attitude. He tells her that she must be willing to become a serving leader rather than a self-serving leader. The secret is that all great leaders Serve. The story unfolds as Debbie learns and applies each of these imperatives with her team. As a result, Debbie’s team goes from worst to first. They become the highest performing team within the company. In the end, Debbie understood that all the changes and improvements were the result of the choices she made as a leader. She realized that to Serve is a choice. Debbie decided once and for all, she would no longer be a self-serving leader, she would be a serving leader!
Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness
Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership