Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Situational Leadership

I have two days of Situational Leadership class this week. The short version...there are four kinds of leadership that are mixtures of motivation and direction (teaching). There are four kinds of following, that are mixtures of ability and motivation/desire. Put them on opposite axes of a grid and the intersection shows the appropriate leading style for the appropriate following style and also points out where you're overleading and underleading.

So what have I learned? I was a pretty good assessor before I started the course. I never delegate to someone who shouldn't be delegated to, yet still delegate to someone who's competent and motivated. I seldom underlead, but tend to overlead just a little, particularly with followers who already have good skills. I believe that - I have a tendency to like good programmers and smart people and I take time to make sure I talk to them about their opportunities, ways to further their knowledge, and how that can be applied to their career, even when I know they have opinions and tracks of their own.

The funniest example today, however, was a question about how to apply your skills on your wife. Seems she's doing all the shopping (food shopping, she volunteered), but she's not buying enough of the basics and the bill is really high. So, lots of motivation, not good skills. How do you best handle it? Talk to her about it? Not quite. Apparently you should explain the problem, and then next time the grocery list is put together, validate the list to make sure it stays within budget. Hmm... Seems to me that's a good way to end up doing all the shopping yourself. Hey baby, I appreciate you're doing the shopping, but I don't think you know how to do it right. Reminds me of when Snewby's girlfriend told him to just stop and think in the grocery store one time. That was the definitive end of their relationship. If they're not going to advocate grocery shopping together, or working on a list together, I think they should add the word "secretly" in front of "check the grocery list" so at least there's no confusion about what it is you're answering.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a commercial about a guy going to the grocery store with actual PICTURES of what he was supposed to buy? I thought that was very entertaining - mainly because I would have to do that with Dan. He'd come home with meat and chips if I sent him to do the shopping!

I think I read about Situational Leadership in one of my classes. All those theories start to run together in my head after a few classes. Glad to hear you are a good leader. :-)

Anonymous said...

I think most of us are good leaders. Let me take that back and say that most are good INTENTIONED leaders. Situational Leadership helped me in becoming a Great Leader and a Great Husband. By the way this is from THEIR perception. It's not just me thinking I'm great. SL is just a framework and or roadmap if you will to be better. I learned it from Dr. Paul Hersey himself. The creator of SL. Good on all of you for knowing about it. Most of us just need some fine tuning...