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Discussion Question Responses
Please respond to the below discussion questions, your response should be clearly written and contain references:
Identify and discuss how the Situational and Style approaches to leadership could be used when leading teams.
The situation approach to leadership recognizes no single form of management as better than others. Blanchard, (2008) asserts “In situational Leadership, there are four styles representing different combinations of directive and supportive behavior The four styles cited by Blnchard are Directing, Coaching, supporting, and delegating. Northouse, (2013) posited “A strength of situational leadership is its practicality. Situational leadership is easy to understand, intuitively sensible, and easily applied in a variety of settings. During this author’s 10 years active duty in the Maring Corps, companies of Marines consisted of Staff NCO’s with 20 or more years of service or low ranking enlisted men with less than a year of service. For the younger and inexperienced Marines, directing and coaching was necessary. For the older and more experienced Marines. They could be counted on for support and authority to perform certain task could be delegated to them. The situational approach is a good fit for the military. The style approach is also a good fit for the military. Northouse, (2013) states “The style approach focuses exclusively on what leaders do and how they act. In shifting the study of leadership to leader style or behaviors, the style approach expanded the study of leadership to include the actions of leaders toward subordinates in various contexts” (p. 75)
Compare and contrast the Situational Approach to leadership with the Style Approach to leadership while considering how metaphor might aid both leadership styles. What are the advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
The style approach is composed of two general kinds of behavior: task behavior and relationship behavior. (Northouse, 2013, pg. 75) The situational approach is composed of both a directive and supportive dimension and each have to be applied in a given situation” (Northouse, 2013, pg. 99) The situational approach contrast because the leadership appears to be more involved this approach can change to fit whatever the situation requires. According to Northouse, (2013) “The style approach is strikingly different because the approach focuses on what leaders do rather than who the leaders are. The metaphor for both styles could be “The sweet smell of success, lead by example, or the path of resentment is easier to travel than the road to forgiveness. John Kennedy’s famous words: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.
Provide at least one example of a situation in which each approach would be most effective in leading teams and include the metaphor you believe would aid each approach in being effective.
The one metaphor I believe would be a good example is “Lead by example”. Maxwell, (2014) stated “A good leader is a person who takes a little more that his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. A leader that is willing to do anything he/she would ask of their people is a good leader.
Blanchard, K. (2008) Situational leadership. Leadership Excellence, Retrieved from http://login.libproxy.edmc.edu/login?url=search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu
Maxwell, J. (2014) Good leaders ask great questions: Your foundation for successful leadership
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Leadership theories and approaches have evolved in concepts from the trait approach, which analyzes personality characteristics of leaders to the style approach which analyzes leader behavior (Argosy, 2017). Another theory that progressed was the situational approach. The situational approach was developed by Hersey and Blanchard (1969) and based on Reddin’s (1967) 3-D management style theory (Northouse, 2013). Both the style and situational approach provide different perspectives to processing leadership theories and leading teams. According to Northouse (2013) “the Style Approach focuses exclusively on what leaders do and how they act” (p. 75). McLeod (2012) expanded the use of metaphors to describe business interactions and developed four principles for working metaphors.
Task behavior and relationship behaviors are integral components of the style approach (Northouse, 2013). For example, two new hires start in different departments within the organization. The first new hire’s manager takes them on a tour of the office and introduces the new hire to their coworkers and they go out to lunch to welcome them to the team. The second new hire’s manager introduces themselves, shows the employee to their seat, then provides them with their training manual and starts reviewing the duties of the job. The difference in managers can be expressed as relationship oriented with the first new hire and task oriented with the second new hire. The disadvantage of the style approach is that is does not take into consideration the nature of the organization, only assessing the readiness and willingness of the followers (Argosy, 2017).
The situational approach has advantages used to lead teams also. The leader is tasked with adapting their leadership style based on the idea employees move in between the developmental continuum (Northouse, 2013). One of the first things that should be done is assess the situation and determine the appropriate questions to ask. For example, two new hires start in the same department. The first hire has transferred from another department and has worked for the company three years and in the field for five years. The second hire has three years work experience and is completely new to the field. The first hire will not require as much direction as the second hire and the leader will need to adapt their style to match the development level of each employee. The disadvantage of the situational approach is shows that task oriented leadership behaviors generate results instantly while relationship oriented behaviors are less productive (Argosy, 2017).
The style and situational approach both vary in style for leading teams. The style approach metaphor that comes to mind is leading by example. This metaphor allows the leader to be able to showcase how to be effective by their example which can be adapted to include task oriented and relationship oriented approaches. The situational approach metaphor that comes to mind is Gardening Leader which means gardeners have to cultivate the soil and understand how things grow. The situational leader must be able to adapt their leadership style to situations as the occur.
Argosy University (2017). Foundations of Leadership. Module 2. Style Approach. Retrieved from myeclassonline.com
McLeod, P. L. (2012). Leading teams. Leadership Excellence, 29(3), 8-9. Retrieved from ProQuest Central database.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice 6th Ed. Oaks, CA. Sage.