Situational Leadership Theory—A Rough Guide to Leadership Models and Theories

Jul 2, 2021 3 min read
Situational Leadership Theory—A Rough Guide to Leadership Models and Theories

The Lazy Leader’s Rough Guide to Leadership Models continues with a concise and practical introduction to Hersey and Blanchard model of Situational Leadership Theory.

In The Art of Strategy, we learned the importance of fully understanding a situation before even considering action. And we briefly introduced the Hersey and Blanchard model of Situational Leadership, which is about adapting leadership style according to situation.

So, the next part of our rough guide to leadership models will cover leadership styles.

We start with Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory, but later will take a brief look at the other leadership styles frameworks, including transformational leadership and Daniel Goleman’s Golf Clubs.

When we are no longer able to change a situation—we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor E. Frankl

The Four Leadership Styles

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I regret to say we can neither adapt nor reproduce an image of the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory model.

The Center for Leadership Studies declined our request to reproduce their Situational Model here, so use your imagination, search DuckDuckGo, or stick with us for something better.

Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard created their popular leadership model from the observation and premise that there are two kinds of behaviour when leading teams:

  1. directive, and
  2. supportive.

They say directive behaviour includes telling people what to do, how to do it, where to do it, when to complete it, and so on. Furthermore, we characterize such behaviour by the close supervision of performance. Some may say this is micromanagement.

However, as you will see soon … that this isn’t always the case.

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