Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Developing Leaders

One of the biggest challenges for managers is not only in their own development of leadership, but the development of leadership in those that work with them. One of the best models available to assist managers in this responsibility in the model developed by Dr. Paul Hersey which he called "Situational Leadership." I have been privileged to have met and instructed on Situational Leadership by Dr. Hersey in his offices in Escondido, Ca. Dr. Hersey, in my mind, is one of the "sages" of leadership thought and development.

That is Dr. Hersey in the middle, with me on the right and one of my good friends Jeff Schummer on the left.

There are numerous insights that Situational Leadership provides. To both the new and seasoned manager alike, too numerous for this short blog. The one insight that I continually take away from the Situational Leadership model, is that the leader approaches their decisions, actions and communication, always from the perspective of the needs of the follower, and not from their own perspective.

This is a simple concept, but yet so insightful. Most managers look at the problems from their own perspective and often do not consider the needs of the follower in determining what the manager can do to develop them. I was fortunate to have worked with several managers in my career that not only understood the Situational Leadership Model, but demonstrated it everyday in their decision making and in their coaching and counseling. These were the leaders that had the greatest impact on my development.

Situational Leadership has impacted millions of managers around the globe and yet after 50 years, has as much relevance today as it did in the early 60's when Dr. Hersey developed this cornerstone model of modern leadership thought.

I am preparing for a new training session entitled "Situational Leadership Preview" that I will be delivering to a group of Executives for a new thrift in the month of June. I am constantly in awe of the simplicity yet profound application of this leadership model.

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