The Daily Challenge: The Situational Leader


Adjusting your leadership style to the situation at hand can help you yield better end results.

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Situational Leader.

Time to read: 3 mins 

The way in which you lead is influenced by your background, experience, personality, general preferences, habits, and your work style. These experiences make your leadership style unique from another individual.

Your style is also influenced by your day-to-day environment. Every situation you bump into is likely to lead to modifications in your leadership style - consciously or unconsciously. 

There are a number of different frameworks for naming leadership styles and approaches. One example is Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership model.

This particular model defines four leadership approaches: 

  • The telling leader: directing your team members with what needs to occur

  • The selling leader: getting buying from team members

  • The participating leader: being involved in the process, work and decisions

  • The delegating leader: acting more hands-off or relinquishing ownership

Another popular framework is Daniel Goleman's Leadership Styles. No matter which framework you prefer, when it comes to leadership styles, various approaches can be useful depending on the strengths of your team members, and the intended outcome of the scenario.

Today spend 15 minutes thinking through how you lead in particular situations to assess if your method is yielding the results you want.

Step 1: Identify your style. How would characterize your leadership style? Are you generally more hands on or hands off? Do you like a lot of interaction and are you democratic in your approach? Do you tend to bulldoze and have strong opinions on direction?

Step 2: Reflect on how you approach various situations. Does your style change depending on the situation at hand, for example, if you are giving critical feedback or giving recognition? What about when you need to influence your team's direction or make a change to the team's processes? How does the level of competency and skill of a particular team member change your style?

Step 3: Consider your opportunities. In what situations is your style yielding the desired outcome and in what situations is it not? Consider where there are opportunities to align your style to better align your style with the situation.

Pro Tip: Consider how what you value, what you see as important and self-evident in the workplace influence the way you lead.

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