Management Lessons


If you would create something, you must be something. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ● A Jason Caldarera website

Situational Leadership Model

Those of you who haven’t taken the course and aren’t familiar, please let me know and I’d be glad to give additional comments, or answer questions.

Basically…. (most of this explanation is taken from Wikipedia)

Leadership styles are characterized into four behavior types S1 to S4:

  • S1: Directing/Telling Leaders define the roles and tasks of the ‘follower’, and supervise them closely. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, so communication is largely one-way.
  • S2: Coaching/Selling Leaders still define roles and tasks, but seek ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader’s prerogative, but communication is much more two-way.
  • S3: Supporting/Participating Leaders pass day-to-day decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader facilitates and takes part in decisions, but control is with the follower.
  • S4: Delegating Leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved.

Of these, no one style is considered optimal or desired for all leaders to possess. Effective leaders need to be flexible, and must adapt themselves according to the situation. However, each leader tends to have a natural style, and in applying Situational Leadership he must know his intrinsic style.

Development levels

The right leadership style will depend on the person being led – the follower. Blanchard and Hersey extended their model to include the Development Level of the follower. They stated that the leader’s chosen style should be based on the competence and commitment of her followers. They categorized the possible development of followers into four levels, which they named D1 to D4:

  • D1: Low Competence, High Commitment – They generally lack the specific skills required for the job in hand. However, they are eager to learn and willing to take direction.
  • D2: Some Competence, Low Commitment – They may have some relevant skills, but won’t be able to do the job without help. The task or the situation may be new to them.
  • D3: High Competence, Variable Commitment – They are experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone, or the motivation to do it well or quickly.
  • D4: High Competence, High Commitment – They are experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They may even be more skilled than the leader.

Development Levels are also situational. I might be generally skilled, confident and motivated in my job, but would still drop into Level D1 when faced, say, with a task requiring skills I don’t possess. For example, many managers are D4 when dealing with the day-to-day running of their department, but move to D1 or D2 when dealing with a sensitive employee “issue”

The development level is now called the performance readiness level (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2008). It is based on the Development levels and adapted from Hersey’s Situational Selling and Ron Campbell of the Center for Leadership Studies has expanded the continuum of follower performance to include behavioral indicators of each readiness level.

  • R1: Unable and Insecure or Unwilling – Follower is unable and insecure and lacks confidence or the follower lacks commitment and motivation to complete tasks.
  • R2: Unable but Confident or Willing – Follower is unable to complete tasks but has the confidence as long as the leader provides guidance or the follower lacks the ability but is motivated and making an effort.
  • R3: Able but Insecure or Unwilling – Follower has the ability to complete tasks but is apprehensive about doing it alone or the follower is not willing to use that ability.
  • R4: Able and Confident and Willing – Follower has the ability to perform and is confident about doing so and is committed.


Filed under: Business, Feedback, Life, Management Lesson, Management Training, Motivation, training, , , ,

7 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Nice post, I guess the trick is to doa self-analyse to undrstand where we are right now in the journey. While leadership is often thought of a vague subject, it’s really a lifelong journey of self-improvement in the area of leading teams to achieving your goals. we can all improve our leadership through the study of the principles and some self-awareness and the willingness to apply these ideas in our teams.

  2. aden says:

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  3. bandsxbands says:

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  4. bandsxbands says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with virtual memory because of how prices are always,and I domean always dropping. I absolutely hate buying Micro SD Cards for my R4 / R4i at (seemingly) a cheap price only to see it become 10% cheaper a few months later.(Posted from QDos for R4i Nintendo DS.)

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