Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) asserts that a leader’s effectiveness is dependent upon the readiness, or ability and willingness, of the leader’s followers to complete a task. This leadership style is an amalgamation of task-oriented and relationship-oriented characteristics that are employed depending upon the situation and the followers involved. According to the SLT, as followers increase in readiness the leader’s style is to adapt accordingly (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009).
The table below (Babou, 2008) summarizes the leadership behaviors that the SLT presumes are appropriate to the various stages of follower readiness. Each quadrant of the Leadership Behaviors chart corresponds to the same quadrant in the Follower Readiness chart.
Style 1 (S1 or Directing): High task/low relationship
This leader uses above-average amounts of task behavior and below-average
amounts of relationship behavior.
Style 2 (S2 or Coaching): High task/high relationship
This leader uses greater-than-average amounts of both task and relationship
Style 3 (S3 or Supporting): High relationship/low task
This leader exhibits greater-than-average amounts of relationship behavior
and below-average amounts of task behavior.
Style 4 (S4 or Delegating): Low relationship/low task
This leader uses below-average amounts of both relationship and task behaviors.
For example, under this theory the leader would employ High Directive/High Support leadership behaviors to the Disillusioned Learner. Ideally, the leader helps the followers as they progress through the stages to achieve the Self-Reliant Achiever/Delegating level. While I do not necessarily fully subscribe to the theory, it does seem to have merit and I do believe that it is important for an effective leader to have the capability and flexibility to adapt his or her style to the needs of the followers in order to encourage everyone’s success. I also believe that an effective leader plays a significant role in promoting and molding individuals’ readiness as it relates to motivation and commitment. As such, I developed my leadership assessment with these points in mind. The assessment focuses on 14 attributes that I believe are important not only for a leader to be successful within the parameters of the SLT, but for most any leadership model adopted by a successful leader in the modern business environment. The assessment was completed by Bobby, my manager of nearly six years, and by Katrina, my highest-ranking direct report of nearly four years. Each was asked to assign a candid rating to each attribute using a one-to-ten (worst-to-best) scale as well as to make notes or offer any suggestions so that I may incorporate it into my leadership style in an effort to improve the areas of weakness and become a better leader. In addition, I did a self-assessment using the same criteria. It should be noted...