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Situational Leadership Model

Developed and researched by Dr Paul Hersey (1960s), it is a flexible and at the same time, a powerful tool which makes sure that the leaders of all sorts (salespersons, managers, peer leaders, parents, professors, etc.) are able to effectively influence others above and subordinate to them. Dr Hersey’s Situational Leadership Model focuses on the relationship between followers and their leaders. The model functions as a framework to better analyse different scenarios that the two parties could find themselves in. Situational Leadership Model

Task Behaviour

It refers to the amount of direction and guidance that is given by a leader of a group.

Relationship Behaviour

All the socio-emotional support given by a leader to its subordinates or superiors falls under the category of relationship behaviour.

Level of Readiness

The ability or willingness with which the tasks, whatsoever assigned, are performed by a leader of a pack. In the Situational Leadership Model, leaders are provided with a better and extensive comprehension of the relationship between the best-suited style of leadership and the willingness or the zeal to perform the assigned tasks.

Role of Situational Leaders

  • Maintain acute awareness.
  • Conducting conversatiosns to coach and mentor the needy.
  • Being able to communicate and influence both upwards and downwards.
  • The ability to nurture committed employees.
  • Being able to drive and bring in effect the behavioural changes.

Building Sustainment

It is clear that without a well-planned and laid-down methodology, the alignment and assignments of tasks, accountability, chargeability, and other similar aspects remain haphazard, incomplete and random.

Management by Objectives (MBO)

It is a management model that seeks to better the functioning of an organisation by a clear definition of mutual set objectives between the superior top-level management and the employees as well. The theory aims to automatically motivate an employee by participating in the goal-setting process. When the employees and management sit together in order to discuss the action plan regarding visions and m missions, it encourages a sense of commitment among employees.

Basic Principles

Introduced by Peter Drucker (1954), it draws a comparison between the actual performance and the mapped performance and achievements regarding the pre-determined goals and objectives. The major benefits of MBO model are straight and simple. Motivation, better communication, commitment, etc. are some of them to enlist. While a person or you attempt to practise MBO, you would notice that the model has a dark side as well. The subordinates would sit together with them at the cost of not giving time to their actual works. Also, it over-emphasises the setting of goals in order to attain the pre-set objectives and not be working on an orderly plan.

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory

Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs is a theory of motivation in psychology. It involves a five-stage model known as “Hierarchy Levels” in the form of a pyramid. It has all to do with the satisfaction of employees in an organisation which also keeps them kicking for future challenges. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory As stated by the pyramid, the needs that are situated at the shore level in the pyramid need first be satiated in order to retain or keep an employee

  • Physiological Needs
  • Safety Needs
  • Emotional Needs
  • Esteem Needs
  • Self-Actualisation

Physiological Needs

These are all the requirements or, if better termed, the basic necessities that are required and referred to as the least requirements for working for an employer. For example, food, shelter, clothes, sex, sleep, etc. are all the most basic elements a human being deserves. According to Maslow, all the above needs are termed as secondary to the physiological needs.

Safety Needs

This need comes second on the list which means physical protection from law, order, authorities, security and a sense of freedom without fear. Job security is also one of the major elements that fall in under the category of safety needs.

Love and Emotional Needs

When the safety and physiological needs have been seen to by the employer, next on the list of motivators are the emotional needs. It is the affiliation, interpersonal relationships, love and affection, intimacy, friendship, and other aspects of an emotional attachment that catalyses an employee.

Esteem Needs

Esteem needs are categorised into two –

  • Self Esteem (Dignity, Achievement, Independence, Mastery, etc.)
  • It refers to the social recognition an employer thinks or feels that he is worthy and deserving of for his status or prestige. Maslow highlighted that the need for social recognition is the most common among teenagers, children, and adolescents.


It is the stage which comes in the end for an employee. That stage occurs when all other sorts of needs have been satisfied and that there is no desire left. It happens when one achieves his full potential and realises the same as well.

Characteristics of People in the Last Phase

  • Ability to tolerate uncertainty.
  • Increased acceptance.
  • Problem cantered.

Ability to Have A Look at Life Objectively

  • Not purposely but unconventional.
  • Working or at least concerned for the welfare of the neighbourhood or humanity.
  • Strong ethical and moral standards.

Modern Scientific Motivation

According to psychologists, motivation is treated as a pluralistic behaviour. In that, the needs can also be in place at multiple levels at the same time. also, a good portion of the population is also governed by knowledge and aesthetics. For them, the self-actualisation phase will come only when the above mentioned cognitive and aesthetic needs are satisfied.

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Kotter’s Model for Change Phases

We live in a world, wherein, the best example of change is “Business”.

  • Inventive initiatives,
  • Technological improvements,
  • Project-based functioning,
  • Staying ahead of the competition.

The above come together in unison to drive changes. It is very common to feel uncomfortable and compelled by a challenge that would, in turn, open up the window for change. Kotter’s Model for Change Phases

Stage 1: Creating Urgency

It would obviously support a change if and when the whole organisation or company looks forward to it. Thereby, if a number of people begin to talk about the “to-be” proposed change, your job is half done. If not half, a quarter.

  • Identification of threats.
  • Development of scenarios.
  • Examination of opportunities.
  • Dynamic and convincing reasonings.

According to Kotter, at least, 75% of the organisation’s personal needs to buy your provocation for a change.

Stage 2: Form Coalition

After convincing people that a change is needed you will require leadership and support from the pillars of your organisation. Also, when they are on your side, you have to be the one leading them and not the other way around. This shall be done keeping in mind a coalition-led team of influential pillars not just by seniority but status, expertise, political importance as well. You will be required to commence with the following with a master plan –

  • The identification of pillars.
  • Asking them for an emotional commitment.
  • Team building.
  • SWOT of your team.

Stage 3: The Vision

There shall be a lot of ideas in your head, knocking at the walls inside to ooze out. Linking all those concepts with a vision that people can relate with and grasp easily shall be the approach. Your vision would enable the people around you (the coalition) to pursue something more tangible by targeting the vision in a direction-ed manner. In stage 3, your methodologies could include –

  • Determination of values.
  • Development of an eye-catching summary for the vision.
  • A plan and strategy for execution.

Stage 4: Communication of Vision

How you mould your words into sentences and present them out of your mouth is the key. Communicating the vision right would not be just like another day-to-day conversation. To get the employees working in unison with you, your objectives and visions will have to be as clear as a crystal. If you thought action speak louder than words, you were right. The below is what you will be required to do –

  • Talk vision.
  • Resolving people’s anxiety and other concerns.
  • Apply the vision by training your employees in a manner that suits both your vision and the employees. Surround everything with vision.

Stage 5: Say No to Obstacles

By the process of elimination, move ahead by removing any hurdles that may come your way and slacken your pace. If you help your employees get rid of that, you can then expect your organisation to grow as per your vision. Your to-dos could include the following –

  • Hire or identify change leaders who would act as pillars to your vision’s change aspects.
  • Reviewing the job roles, responsibilities, descriptions, compensations to make sure that there is nothing lost when it comes to your vision.

Stage 6: Short Term Goals

When you let success shower over your employees and yourself, there exists nothing better. Giving your business a reason to celebrate time to time would automatically make them willing to perform in accordance with your vision.

  • Implementing short-short goals and methodologies that you know can be carried ahead without any hindrance.
  • Keep in mind the investment and the return on it.
  • Doing the pro-con check at a good frequency.

Stage 7: Build On

Kotter in his theory says that if the victory is achieved at a very short interval, the celebration might lose its charm. For example, if you wish to add ten new products to your marketing mix, to achieve that tenth addition, you will have to continuously work hard and improve on the way. Each of those ten successive successes would provide a platform to check the pros-cons of your functioning. What you could do is –

  • Post every small triumph, there shall be an analysis to highlight what went right and wrong.
  • Setting up of short goals at all the levels of management in your organisation.

Stage 8: Anchor the Changes

Before any change is materialised, it shall become a part of your organisation and that too an important one. The pillars and leaders you set amidst the process shall, with time, accept the change and be full of information if and when asked because one just cannot lose the pillars of an organisation. You could –

  • Recite success stories and other inspirational progress reports to motivate and inspire your employees.
  • The change ideals shall especially be a part of the recruitment process as well.

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Meet Jeffery, an expert in reflective writing. With a passion for self-expression and introspection, Jeffery specializes in guiding individuals through the reflective writing process. Whether it's personal essays, journals, or academic reflections, Jefferyempowers writers to explore their thoughts and experiences with clarity and insight. Trust Jeffery to help you articulate your innermost thoughts effectively.


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