Realistic Perspectives

A concentration of material and thoughts focused around leadership, values, ethics, efficiency and effectiveness

Review and summary : Leadership and the One Minute Manager

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Leadership and the One-Minute Manager stresses that there is no single, best method of leadership, but are in fact four styles: directing, delegating, coaching and support. Whichever style is employed depends on the situation to be managed. ‘Situational leadership is not something you do to people, but something you do with people’.

Accordingly the Situational Leadership theory developed by Dr Paul Hersey’s teaches of a method that can be used to groom and develop an individual so that he/she may accept responsibility, delegation and even empowerment.

The method to apply this theory in day today management is simple. The individual who is to be developed will be catagorized in to one of the following categories (The hardest part is deciding what category a person fits into, therefore the best option would be to start from D1):

D1: Low Competence, High Commitment – They generally lack the specific skills required for the job in hand. However, they are eager to learn and willing to take direction.
D2: Some Competence, Low Commitment – They may have some relevant skills, but won’t be able to do the job without help. The task or the situation may be new to them.
D3: High Competence, Variable Commitment – They are experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone, or the motivation to do it well or quickly.

D4: High Competence, High Commitment – They are experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They may even be more skilled than the leader.

The Situational Leadership Model shown below allows managers to easily determine what level of supportive/directive behavior a manager needs to provide to the individual concerned base solely on the individuals development level.

Shown below are the levels of supportive/directive behavior a manager should provide to the individual.

S1: Directing/Telling Leaders define the roles and tasks of the ‘follower’, and supervise them closely. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, so communication is largely one-way.
S2: Coaching/Selling Leaders still define roles and tasks, but seek ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader’s prerogative, but communication is much more two-way.
S3: Supporting/Participating Leaders pass day-to-day decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader facilitates and takes part in decisions, but control is with the follower.

S4: Delegating Leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved.

Additionally, there are 5 basic steps to training a learner to be a good performer: 1. Tell what to do 2. Show how to do 3. Let the person try 4.Observe performance 5.Praise progress or redirect

There is also the PRICE method. PRICE stands for Pinpoint, Record, Involve, Coach, Evaluate
Pinpoint. A process of defining key performance areas for people in observable measurable terms. (In essence, one-minute goals)
Record. You want to be able to measure present performance and keep track of progress in that area. You are able to make sure the problem is real and not “just a feeling”.
Involve. Share feedback without judgment and in a spirit of learning. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Also, involve him in establishing activators. One minute management doesn’t work unless you share it with your staff. Also decide what are the positive consequences when goals are achieved.
Coach. Observe performance and manage consequences.

Evaluate. Track performance progress and determine future strategies. Evaluate performance for periods of no longer than 6 weeks. (Whereas, other organizations do quarterly, or yearly evaluations).

These methods of grooming and preparing individuals to be performers may sound simple enough, but in real life it can be intensely time consuming and requires mountains of patience.  This is due to the simple fact that one individual is totally different to the other. Never ever expect the same level of understanding and co-operation from the each individual.


Written by Talal Cassim

April 5, 2010 at 10:40 am

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