Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership

Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership

Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership – different leadership styles are required across the life cycle of any group activity.

  1. Telling – at the start an activity, task or project, the individual, team or group usually know little about what is required of them and they can be confused and uncoordinated! Generally, they lack the specific skills required for this particular piece of work and they may not know each other. Lacking knowledge and confidence, they are anxious and unwilling to take responsibility for the task. The leader needs to go into “Telling” mode. This means being more directive; focusing on the task, promoting ownership by the individual team member and promoting their confidence. This Telling stage is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, when, and where to do the task.
  2. Selling – as the group develops, the leader focuses on coaching to get them into the delivery stage! They agree how they will behave to complete the task! But in doing this there may be conflict and a leader may need a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. They are still not able to take on responsibility; but, they are willing to work at the task. While the leader is still providing the direction and focusing on the task, he or she is now focusing as well on individuals using two-way communication – listening as well as giving instruction. The leader provides the coaching and support needed to help the individual or group buy into the process.
  3. Participating – as the individual or team becomes more confident and self managed the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style! The team are experienced and able to do the task but may still lack the confidence to take on full responsibility. There is now shared decision-making about how the task will be accomplished and the leader generally provides far less instruction, concentrating instead on strengthening bonds and commitment within the group.
  4. Delegating – when the group is fully mature, the leader is still involved in decisions; but responsibility for how the task will be accomplished has been passed to the group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress. But the group are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They are able and willing not only to do the task, but to take responsibility for its completion.

I have described the stages in terms of group behaviour but the same cycle is seen in the development of individuals when they take on a new role.

No one style is right for any leader all the time. Good leaders need the confidence to be flexible, and to adapt themselves according to the situation. The right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

This is a new version of a very popular post on this site.

I’ve written a lot about how teams behave and my approach has been based on Tuckman’s Team behaviour theory – you can find links to these articles at the bottom of this post. Tuckman’s approach and the leadership theories of Hershey-Blanchard and Adair can be brought together into one simple model.

This shows how different Leadership styles are required across the life cycle of any group activity.

  1. Telling – at the start an activity, task or project, the individual, team or group usually know little about what is required of them and they can be confused and uncoordinated! Generally, they lack the specific skills required for this particular piece of work and they may not know each other. Lacking knowledge and confidence, they are anxious and unwilling to take responsibility for the task. The leader needs to go into “Telling” mode. This means being more directive; focusing on the task, promoting ownership by the individual team member and promoting their confidence. This Telling stage is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, when, and where to do the task.
  2. Selling – as the group develops, the leader focuses on coaching to get them into the delivery stage! They agree how they will behave to complete the task! But in doing this there may be conflict and a leader may need a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. They are still not able to take on responsibility; but, they are willing to work at the task. While the leader is still providing the direction and focusing on the task, he or she is now focusing as well on individuals using two-way communication – listening as well as giving instruction. The leader provides the coaching and support needed to help the individual or group buy into the process.
  3. Participating – as the individual or team becomes more confident and self managed the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style! The team are experienced and able to do the task but may still lack the confidence to take on full responsibility. There is now shared decision-making about how the task will be accomplished and the leader generally provides far less instruction, concentrating instead on strengthening bonds and commitment within the group.
  4. Delegating – when the group is fully mature, the leader is still involved in decisions; but responsibility for how the task will be accomplished has been passed to the group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress. But the group are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They are able and willing not only to do the task, but to take responsibility for its completion.

I have described the stages in terms of group behaviour but the same cycle is seen in the development of individuals when they take on a new role.

No one style is right for any leader all the time. Good leaders need the confidence to be flexible, and to adapt themselves according to the situation. The right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led.

If you would like support in developing your own leadership style, get in touch – my email address is below.

Want to be a Confident Networker? Join my free teleseminar on 26th June 2012

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy’s earlier articles on how teams behave

  • Team Work; forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning with Dr Tuckman
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming,Performing and Adjourning. Part 1 – Managing the Forming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 2 – Managing the Storming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning Part 3 – Managing the Norming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 4 – Managing the Performing Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 5 – Managing the Adjourning Stage

>Self Belief and how to change the world!

>

Faroe stamp 130 amnesty internationalImage via Wikipedia

This post appeared yesterday at my other blog www.wisewolftalking.com.  As some of you will be “baby boomers”, I thought you might like to read it here.

There is a great piece in the April edition of Management Today by Denise Kingsmill about the potential for baby boomers  to become entrepreneurs.  Among othet things, Baroness Kingsmill is currently a non-executive director of British, European and US boards.

As the first of us reaches sixty five this year, she argues against the view that we are the ‘me’ generation, expecting the world to change to meet our needs and with a highly developed sense of being special. She goes on to illustrate her point by referring to our achievements quoting the social changes that took place in the second half of the 20th Century, for example, civil rights, feminism and gay rights etc.

She goes on to talk about the pensions’ burden we will put on future generations and that we probably will have go on working much longer!  But as you would expect from a baby boomer, she quotes an academic study* that suggests we will be peculiarly well-fitted to do so as entrepreneurs!

Apparently the mature mind has abilities critical to successful entrepreneurship.   Academic research is showing that with age there is improved coordination between right and left sides of the brain – between analytical skills and creativity.  The part of the brain that regulates emotion starts to work better, making us much less likely to get bogged down in the detail and more likely to come up with holistic creative solutions.  We are more likely to stay focussed.

Already baby boomers make up 60% of the annual Management Today ranking of Britain’s Top 100 entrepreneurs.
It gave me a great boost to read her piece.

Yes we do have to work longer!  But if that is so, my generation will set the world on fire doing it! Oh yes, by sheer force of number we will turn the world of enterprise grey or rather bright, shining and energetic silver.
And then I stopped and thought a bit.  Oh dear this is the Sixties people doing their thing, all over again and we won’t be loved for it.

Yes, this great creative generation of mine will change the world at sixty five, seventy and possibly eighty just as we did at twenty and forty.  Part of it will be force of numbers and part of it will be that other thing the boomers have.  It’s a kind of cross-cohort self belief.  Far from thinking the world should change for us , we thought each and every one of us could change the world!

But we didn’t get to finish the agenda.  Many of us in the sixties recognised the pressures of an increasing population and scarcity of resources as well as the lack of justice in the world.  Green Peace and Amnesty International are a typical baby boomer response. Most of us just got bogged down in the usual pressures of family and work.  In reality, most of us did very little!

Now we do have to work on into our old age and many of us will do it well, with ingenuity and verve.  But it will be a pity if we make such a song and dance about it that yet again we alienate those who come after us.  One thing the baby boomers never did learn was to shut up and just get on with it.   Yes, we started out believing each and every one of us could change the world! But as for me, I just wish we had passed that same self belief on to our children!

Related articles
·         First Baby Boomers Turn 65 (npr.org)


        Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439
        You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftalking.com