Is Situational Leadership Innate in Good Managers?

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Situational Leadership > Forum > Is Situational Leadership Innate in Good Managers?

Is Situational Leadership Innate in Good Managers?
Kim Henshaw, CEO, Australia, Member
Before I discovered that someone had put a name to this technique, I thought it was one of the things in the kit bag of a good manager. It just makes such basic common sense that I'd be surprised if every successful manager hasn't used it to a greater or lesser degree during their career - perhaps like me without knowing there was a label for it.
 

 
Situational Leadership and Good Managers
Bob Mason, Management Consultant, United States, Member
You're right. However, I believe situational leadership works only when leaders understand both themselves and their followers. If a leader doesn't know their people very well, they can easily place them in the wrong level and apply the wrong type of leadership. That's why I think study of Maslow and Herzberg are important to success of situational leadership.
Oh, and by the way, there are way too many leaders out there who don't see a need for situational leadership. Most of them see themselves as quite successful. The others may not be as convinced.
 

 
Is SL Innate in Good Leaders or Managers?
Bill Johnson, United States, Member
No, it is not innate in anyone. I used to be a US soldier, a career where you would think everyone would understand SL but most people don't.
There is a strong connection between SL and DISC and MBPI. Because not only do you have to understand where your subordinate is in the SL scheme but you also have to know how they "think" and learn so that you can effectively lead them. Just knowing that your subordinate is in the S1 box, for example, is not enough (though it is a start if that is all you know). You also need to know your own DISC and/or MBPI profile so you can overcome any communication barriers if your profile does not mesh well with theirs.
 

 
Is Situational Leadership Innate in Good Managers / Leaders?
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
It is possible that situational leadership is carried out unconsciously by the leaders.
Nevertheless it is important to have some knowledge on each of the 4 levels to be excellent. There are many things we can do unconscious, but they can be improved. Intuition can not replace expertise. We must move to the level of the conscious aspects of leadership that, over time, moves into the plane of the unconscious, as a result of the continual repetition of behaviors that have developed as a result of knowledge and experiences.
 

 
Situatiobal Leadership comes Natural to Some Leaders
Alexander Kobzarev, Manager, Ukraine, Member
IMHO there are no innate skills like this. There is no unconscious boxing champion. You need to spend a couple of years to become a decent boxer.
Yes, you can have some natural good abilities for it, but you need lot of practice to become a good leader.
 

 
To be an Excellent Situational Manager Requires Deep Training
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
In the business world "better" is the enemy of "good", and "excellent" is the enemy of "better". It's a mistake to believe that there is an enormous distance between success and failure. In many cases it is a matter of a few inches (Vince Lombardi).
Excellence has nothing to do with making things right. Excellence means playing to win. Excellence means going for it. Leadership is a matter of being an expert, or a master, the rest will be a good intentioned amateur. That's why knowledge and deep training are critical.
I believe for SL it helps to have a number of conditions or personal qualities… but then you need to work on them.
 

 
Situational Leadership is Natural for Parents
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
To some extent, parents know how to teach, develop and educate their daughters and sons, depending on their age. Anyway, most of the times, parents mix the levels of their children's maturity and their own understanding. Sometimes psychologists are used to help parents to better understand their sons and daughters. That is normal and useful.
Likewise, in business, there is also not only one leadership style. Our style can ONLY be correct if it is adapted according to the developing level of any specific person in our team.
 

 
The Key Issue: Be Interested in your Employees
Renker Weiss, Management Consultant, Austria, Member
Situational leadership only works if a leader is interested in the people he is responsible for. If a leader isn't interested in the talents and/or the "maturity" (regarding to their work - not age!) of an employee, the leader will not be successful by using this toolkit. Nowadays it is sometimes called "agile leading".
Many leaders prefer the "shotgun technique": to be fair, everybody gets the same kind of treatment. Imagine you do that to Orchid plants. Will it support the growth of each individual plant, if they all get the exact same amount of water, sun, attention etc? No, but it is fair and saves time ;-)
Situational leadership is a very good tool, but the user needs to be interested in people.
 

 
For Certain Personality Types Situational Leadership is Innate; the Others have to Learn it
helar, Management Consultant, Slovakia, Member
To me, to be a GOOD manager means to be able to react adequately to various situations with the people you have on your team. Some personality types (talking about the DISC and MBTI mentioned above) are more inclined to take both of them into consideration. The rest has to learn it the hard way 😃.
 

 
Is Situational Leadership Inborn?
PEDRO J. RAMIREZ, Management Consultant, Puerto Rico, Member
I believe that situational leadership is a mature level of leadership. It is like an ability to produce an instant improvisation-solution to a problem. You have to gear to do so to help your team to be successful--leadership without success is empty.
 

 
Situational Leadership is Partly Innate and Partly Learned
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Thanks Kim for starting this topic and all others for your valuable contributions. Here is a summary of the key findings:
  • Situational Leadership (SL) is NOT a matter of course for everyone.
  • The inclination and ability to observe, understand and adapt to other people and situations is crucial.
  • Such inclination and ability require intelligence (IQ) and also emotional intelligence (EI). Both of these are inborn for the most part.
  • This means that being good at situational management is also partly inborn.
  • On the other hand, being able to quickly and adequately combine the right leadership (management) style with different people and varying circumstances also requires substantial knowledge, skills... and a lot of practice.
  • Therefore situational leadership has to be learned as well: the model and the ideas behind it have to be studied carefully and then developed through practical application, preferably under some form of (situational) guidance or coaching.
  • All in all, as @ANTONIO put it: for SL it helps to have a number of conditions or personal qualities… but then you need to work on them.
 

 
Sensitivity and Situational Leadership
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
Situation leadership needs sensitivity to observe for the situation and changes that are happening around oneself and adopting a right course of action. It is simple to state but in practice it is difficult. However if one knows how to educate the heart it is a possible proposition.
 

 
Leadership-Management and Situational Adaptability
Maurice Hogarth, Consultant, United Kingdom, Premium Member
MANAGER-LEADERS adapt their behaviour-style to the person-situation mix. Some more naturally and/or more effectively than others (or to improved effect after ‘training’).
BOSSES, locked into “one right style” thinking, will not adapt their behaviour-style to the situational needs.
As a subaltern, trained on the basis of Action Centred Leadership, I was expected to keep a notebook with information about those I commanded, to assist me to lead-manage the person-in-the-situation; an exposure to SL without realising it.
 

     
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