“Situational Leadership” explored the notion of Situational Leadership, which was coined by Hersey and Blanchard in the late 1960s. This term was grounded on connections between three main components – Performance Readiness, the socioemotional support provided by a leader, and the extent to which a leader provides others with guidance. It is important to mention that the concept of Situational Leadership was created to help leaders develop a more effective framework of their everyday interactions with other leaders as well as their employees. Furthermore, Situational Leadership has been effective for finding the correlation between the Performance Readiness of employees and the style of leadership one implements daily.
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The author presented visual material that helped to better understand the concept of Situational Leadership. For example, the table “Influence Behavior” showed four styles of leadership behavior, which are characterized by either high or low task behavior and either high or low relationship behavior. As to the main components of Situational Leadership, Performance Readiness is associated with the extent to which the group of followers can accomplish a task given by the leader. An important aspect of Performance Readiness is that the leader’s followers exhibit different levels of readiness depending on the complexity of the task given to them. Therefore, Performance Readiness does not depend on one’s characteristics such as age or individual traits; on the contrary, it is based on two components – willingness and ability. While ability is made up of knowledge, skills, and experience, willingness is composed of confidence, commitment, and motivation.
The notion of Performance Readiness was further explored by Ron Campbell, who included four performance indicators that influence one’s readiness to perform a task given by a leader. To explore Performance Readiness, Campbell differentiated four levels of readiness that assess whether a person is unwilling to perform a specific task or is insecure about his or her abilities. When it comes to the concept of Performance Readiness, each person is unique.
Readiness is not only about a person’s attitudes and skills that are being assessed at a specific moment; it is also about development, change, and progress. As the leader’s followers move from one level of Performance Readiness to another, the correlation between task and relationship behavior necessary to accomplish the task begins to change. The chapter explored appropriate leadership styles (telling, selling, participating, and delegating) required for four designations of Performance Readiness (low, low to moderate, moderate to high, and high). Therefore, a low level of Performance Readiness requires a telling style while a selling style of leadership can be effective in low to moderate Performance Readiness, and so on.
When implementing t Situational Leadership approach, it is important to remember that there is no ‘perfect’ way in which a leader can influence the followers. On the contrary, any behavior exhibited by a follower can be modified by his or her Performance Readiness. Therefore, to effectively influence one’s ability to perform a task, the leader should go through three stages: diagnose the Performance Readiness levels, adapt to such levels by implementing appropriate leadership styles, and communicate the styles to positively influence the levels of Performance Readiness. Thus, the chapter gave profound information on Situational Leadership, which can be effectively applied to benefit the readiness of followers to perform various tasks.