Essay: Situational Leadership

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¶ … Leadership

The basic theory of situational leadership holds that such leaders will adapt their leadership style to meet the needs of a given situation. By analyzing each situation and leading according to what will work best in that situation, the situational leader will be more effective in the long run. This general theory of situational leadership has been expanded in recent years to incorporate different interpretations of the situational leader.

SLT is situational leadership theory, which is the basic premise outlined above. Hersey and Blanchard describe situational leadership theory suggest that leaders should be flexible in their leadership style, choosing appropriate behaviors according to the situation. The behaviors in question are telling, selling, participating, and delegating. The authors argue that most leaders only use one of these types at a time, but that they should consider using more than one, or being flexible as to which one they use.

An alternate theory is SLII, or Situational Leadership II. The same authors developed this additional product to sell, using different words to describe their model: supporting, coaching, delegating and directing. SLII is also based in theory on different traits on the x and y axes. In SLT these are supportive behavior and directive behavior and in SLII these are supportive behavior. These are actually the same thing, which leads one to examine the rest of the model. Directing and telling are synonyms. Coaching and selling are different, but selling was never an accurate description of a "high directive, high supportive behavior." The change to the word coaching is a correction. The third component is now supporting instead of participating, again a correction from what was never accurate. The fourth is delegating in both models.

The authors describe the differences in SLII as follows: "While each (model) uses different labels to conceptualize the leadership styles of situational leadership, we feel this is not a major difference in our approaches." The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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