Action-Centered Leadership

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Description of Action-Centered Leadership. Explanation.

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Definition Action-Centered Leadership. Description.


Action-Centered Leadership is a model by John Adair that focuses on what leaders should do in order to be effective. The model distinguishes 3 groups of activities, which are highly interrelated. None can be viewed in isolation, and all must receive leadership attention in order for any to work effectively and for organizational goals to be met.

  1. Achieving the Task.

    • Identify aims and vision for the group, purpose, and direction.

    • Identify resources, people, processes, systems and tools.

    • Create the plan to achieve the task: deliverables, measures, timescales, strategy and tactics.

    • Establish responsibilities, objectives, accountabilities and measures, by agreement and delegation.

    • Set standards, quality, time and reporting parameters.

    • Control and maintain activities against parameters.

    • Monitor and maintain overall performance against plan.

    • Report on progress towards the group's aim.

    • Review, re-assess, adjust plan, methods and targets as necessary.

  2. Building and maintaining the Team.

    • Establish, agree and communicate standards of performance and behavior.

    • Establish style, culture, approach of the group (soft skill elements).

    • Monitor and maintain discipline, ethics, integrity and focus on objectives.

    • Anticipate and resolve group conflict, struggles or disagreements.

    • Assess and change as necessary the balance and composition of the group.

    • Develop team-working, cooperation, morale and team-spirit.

    • Develop the collective maturity and capability of the group - progressively increase group freedom and authority.

    • Encourage the team towards objectives and aims: motivate the group and provide a collective sense of purpose.

    • Identify, develop and agree team- and project-leadership roles within group.

    • Enable, facilitate and ensure effective internal and external group communications.

    • Identify and meet group training needs.

    • Give feedback to the group on overall progress: consult with, and seek feedback and input from the group.

  3. Developing the Individual.

    • Understand the team members as individuals: personality, skills, strengths, needs, aims and fears.

    • Assist and support individuals: plans, problems, challenges, highs and lows.

    • Identify and agree appropriate individual responsibilities and objectives.

    • Give recognition and praise to individuals: acknowledge effort and good work.

    • Where appropriate reward individuals with extra responsibility, advancement and status.

    • Identify, develop and utilize each individual's capabilities and strengths.

    • Train and develop individual team members.

    • Develop individual freedom and authority.


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Action-Centered Leadership Special Interest Group


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Best Practices - Action-Centered Leadership Premium

Expert Tips - Action-Centered Leadership Premium

Resources - Action-Centered Leadership Premium

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Compare with: Hierarchy of Needs  |  Culture Types  |  Two Factor Theory  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  Level 5 Leadership  |  Results-Based Leadership  |  Emotional Intelligence  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Path-Goal Theory  |  Contingency Theory  |  Competing Values Framework  |  Expectancy Theory  |  Seven Surprises  |  Seven Habits  |  Situational Leadership  |  EPIC ADVISERS  |  Charismatic Leadership

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