According to Blanchard and Phil (15) situational leadership involves making use of a leadership style that is appropriate for the followers in a team or one that is right for the people being led. My perspective is that one kind of leadership style is not enough. The style of leadership should be changed in line with the level of development of the followers in order for it to be effective. The leadership style to be employed is influenced by the maturity levels shown by team members.
To begin with, the style of directing is the right one to be used by leaders who are dealing with people with a low maturity (Hersey, 48). This is because, such individuals whose maturity is low tend to lack the necessary skills, confidence and even the knowledge to carry out the tasks they have been assigned. As such, directing will involve supervising and giving instructions to such individuals in order for them to perform their functions in a manner that is satisfactory. The next level is the medium level of maturity where personnel have limited skills. Leaders at this level make use of the style of coaching in order to achieve their aims (Lussier, 343). Usually those at the middle level maturity possess certain competencies but they do not have any commitment thus leaders provide these individuals and sell their vision to the team members in a bid to get them on board.
The third level is the one where individuals possess a medium level of maturity but with a higher level of skills even though they still lack the much needed confidence. A participative style of leadership is suitable in this case as it entails offering support and encouragement to this group but with very few directions. An example in this case will be when a leader sensitizes and teaches the followers on the goals that should be achieved and leaves them to do the rest of the tasks. Finally, individuals who have a high level of maturity should be governed using the style of leadership of directing. A leader will provide this group with more objectives and place a few limitations on boundaries. An example is when a leader delegates certain roles to his followers. This is so because individuals in this group possess high competencies, a high sense of commitment and are more empowered (Cassidy & Robert, 33)s. If leaders apply the various types of leadership style depending on the level of development, which their followers have, then they are more likely to accomplish their tasks as expected and achieve their set objectives. Furthermore, they will be able to lead effectively even as they focus on ensuring that their followers move to the high level of maturity.
Blanchard, Kenneth H, and Phil Hodges. The Servant Leader: Transforming Your Heart, Head, Hands, & Habits. Nashville, Tenn: J. Countryman, 2003. Internet resource.
Cassidy, Carlene, and Robert Kreitner. Supervision: Setting People Up for Success. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.33
Hersey, Paul. The Situational Leader. New York, NY: Warner Books, 1985. Print.
Lussier, Robert N. Management Fundamentals: Concepts, Applications, Skill Development. Mason, Ohio: South-Western, 2012. Print.