The Situational Leadership Theory Is A Good One To Build Upon

The situational leadership theory is defined by a leader being able to adapt to an ever changing environment in a positive way. However, don’t mistake being wishy washy for this type of leadership, i.e., someone that changes their mind on a regular basis at the drop of a hat.

No this leadership theory is based on a leader who can adjust their plan and style of interaction with their staff in order to best accomplish their goal.

As with almost all people they are not good at certain things while being very good at others. To use a sports analogy not everyone can be a pitcher, quarterback, or point guard. Everyone on the team has a role to play and a leader that defines the true meaning of the situational leadership theory is able to continually evaluate where the individuals will best serve the team. Those roles don’t necessarily change continually but the great leaders are able to adjust their staff to receive the maximum benefit.

Using sports as an example again if a player during a football game gets hurt the coach may immediately adjust the game plan in order to maximize the replacement player’s abilities and skills. Therefore, if the quarterback was injured and they are very good at scrambling with the ball and the replacement quarterback is not, the coach (leader) must adjust their play calling to accommodate for this change.

As far as leadership theories go the situational leadership theory is a good one to model yourself after if you are able. This will require your ability to be flexible without panicking. One way to prepare you to be ready in all circumstances is to know and understand your staff’s abilities. If you expect everyone to be able to perform at the same level you are setting yourself up to be disappointed. I suppose if we are talking about machines we can expect that, but with human beings this is not going to happen.

Another thing to evaluate within your staff is to see who gets along together. Who eats lunch together! Who do you see talking together! Do you here that some hang out after hours together! This is important when or if you are tasked with assigning teams to accomplish a goal.

Learn all the resources you have available and what is required to tap into them. Are their experts available outside your work group that you can utilize? Is their backup equipment if something breaks down?

As an example I have been a fan of the show Jungle Gold and it is a perfect example of what not to do when it comes to the situational leadership theory! On that show they are continually shooting from the hip and failing miserably. Although they think that they prepared themselves for what they were going to encounter they weren’t even close. As a result they poor decisions under pressure that cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a failed mission. In other words they didn’t find the gold they thought they would.

In the above example of “Jungle Gold” if the two involved would have done more up front planning and less backend reacting they may have discovered that they should have never attempted their mission or would have reduced the amount of problems. Some of those problems were very simple things like not having replacement parts for their digging equipment. Not fully understanding the capabilities of their staff. Not fully understanding their environment and the local customs.

Oh yes they both had plenty of desire and were very willing to put in hard work but the old saying rings very true, “Work Smart – Not Hard!”

Now I don’t know a thing about mining gold but I do know a lot about leadership! The ultimate rule in leadership is to surround yourself with very good people! The next rule is to fully know and understand their skills and abilities so that you can place them into situations that they will be successful in!

Therefore, if I were the leader leading the Jungle Gold mission I would have begun asking thousands of questions prior to ever leaving the United States. I would have never started the mission until I was confident I had many contingency plans at my fingertips. If I didn’t feel confident I would have never left! That is what the situational leadership theory is all about!

Thank you and May GOD Bless You!

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