Paul Hersey and collegues created situational leadership model while at the Center for Leadership Studies. The model is usually based on the theory that successful results are achieved while a great opportunity matches a given leadership style. Under this type of leadership style,flexibility, especially directing the subordinates is paramount. The initial behaviors demonstrated by the managers through situational leadership style may be defined as a relationship or task behavior. Under the relationship behavior, the focus is on individual’s dimension, while task behavior is mainly concerned on production aspect.
Hersey insists that for leaders to influence followers, they must assess an individuals’ readiness for a given task to know the specific style of leadership to apply in such a situation. In this model, the leader must understand the ability and willingness of a person to complete a given task since this aspect is likely to influence the results. Importantly, the leaders should assess the level of commitment, confidence, and motivation of followers to complete a given task. Hence, it is essential for a leader to understand that the readiness level varies amongst the group members.
Under the situational leadership, high chances of success within a given organization are evident since the leader channels their efforts to be in line with a given situation. Additionally, the leader can assess the ability and skills of an individual to assign duties depending on their capability. Hence, given the competence and willingness of the followers, the leader is likely to achieve the intended results, leading to success of an organization. However, if a leader fails to understand his follower’s strengths and weaknesses, the results of a given assignment or task are likely to be detrimental.
It is one of the most critical leadership skills developed by Robert Greenleaf who stated that a leader is a servant first. Under this type of leadership, it first starts with the natural feeling of wanting to serve. Greenleaf stated that true leadership emanates from the desire to serve others. Servant leadership encourages the ethical power use, collaboration, empowerment, and trust. Under this approach , the needs of others come firstand a leader recognizes and supports other people’s views to achieve their set goals. A servant leader involves followers in decision-making, thus creating a sense of community, which translates to stronger bonds with team members.
Servant leadership should encourage positive results since the leader and the followers can understand each other as they collaborate. The leader is not authoritative and provides guidance to the subordinates. He/she acknowledges the views of other people and offers support to achieve the intended aim. Nonetheless, servant leadership is likely to fail in autocratic or hierarchical cultures where the leaders have the responsibility of making all the decisions. In such setting, it can be hard for a manager to interact and earn respect from his juniors.
In the world, several leaders have displayed situational leadership skills. One of the notable examples is Dwight Eisenhower, the former president of the United States. He was the country’s leader after the Second World War and s a commander well known for his diplomatic skills and ability to collaborate with other allied leaders with the aim of defeating the Nazis. Through his strong military background, he gained skills on how to direct and order while working in line with a given situation to achieve positive results. His skills earned him respect, and hence was elected for two terms.
One of the World’s greatest servant leaders was Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa. Mandela put the needs of the people before his and he fought for equality for all. He risked his life and tookk to the streets. Nelson endured harsh treatment while in prison and did not give up his will to liberate the people. After imprisonment, he became the President and demonstrated servant leadership even as a national leader.