Situational Leadership – Case Study Example

The paper "Situational Leadership" is an excellent example of a case study on management. A leader can be defined as an individual who tries to influence the decision-making of other people (Gill, 2011).  Decision making and people's behaviors can either be directive or supportive (Gill, 2011).  Directive behavior enables a group of people to meet set goals and objectives through directions and showing them how this will be achieved.  Supportive behaviors, on the other hand, are whereby a leader is comfortable with themselves and their co-workers and the situation in which the team is. These kinds of leaders encourage two-way communication and ensure that they socially and emotionally support their juniors (Haslam, Reicher & Platow, 2015). The SLII model is a tool designed to easily illustrate how directive and supportive leaders combine their strengths and weaknesses to define leadership styles.  The model has four quadrants representing four different leadership styles (Haslam, Reicher & Platow, 2015). As per the case study entitled why aren't there listening, Jim Anderson is applying the supporting style of leadership. This is whereby a leader believes in his capability and those of the team and therefore gives few or no directives as to how he expects the team to carry themselves (Haslam, Reicher & Platow, 2015). A leader applying this method is highly supportive to his people and at the same time gives low or no directives. Jim Anderson feels that since he is training middle-level managers, they ought to be responsible enough.  He does not make it mandatory for the people to attend the training. He is also lenient in the attendance time leading to the managers coming in late for the training. The managers are in the middle-level cadre of the organization.  This means that probably there at the same level as Jim Anderson.  This is another reason as to why Jim needs to be strict and give directions to the team. Contrary to his style he should have been more directive and less supportive. The managers are expected to have the knowledge and the experience that he is training anyway.  This is supposed to work as a refresher course to the managers. With this in mind and considering that the managers are probably at the same level with Jim, he should have given them directions on what he expects them to do and act,  and they will perform better in that training since they have the necessary tools. Middle-level managers are expected to be responsible and act with dignity as opposed to when dealing with the lower cadre employees (Gill, 2011).  However, a manager should not make assumptions as this could affect the results of his work. A manager should familiarise himself with the people he is leading and have the vision to avoid mistakes like the one by Jim (Nohria & Khurana, 2010). From a leadership perspective, Jim is doing two wrongs.  The first wrong is to make assumptions.  Jim assumed that being lenient and easy on the managers will make the training interesting.  He was wrong.  Based on the history of training in the company, being lenient was not the solution to the problem. Being tough however and clear about your expectations as a leader ensures that the team takes the job seriously.  Jim also assumed that since he was dealing with managers, he could get away with being lenient and easy on them.  He expected them to be responsible and have the willingness to learn the new subject.  What he did not understand is that when you give people many choices, you should be willing and ready for them to take an unfavorable choice. The second wrong that Jim did is by making the training optional.  By doing this, he was indirectly communicating that the training was not important.  As a leader, it is important that you learn to communicate both directly and indirectly (Northouse, 2015).  One should also think of the indirect impact of their utterances and actions.  Whenever something becomes optional humans are likely not to attend and when they do most of them will not pay attention (Northouse, 2015). To resolve the mess that Jim finds himself in the needs to push for certain reforms within the organization. Some of these changes include. From this case, it has become clear that employees led by the managers as a case example are not interested in training.  The organization can, therefore, use any of the two options available to them.  They can choose to force people to attend training, or they can choose to entice them to attend training (Nohria & Khurana, 2010).  I would advise Jim and the organization to link the two. By adding training as a deliverable in the balanced scorecard employees will be indirectly forced to attend these training.  They will also be indirectly forced to be attentive since their performance in training will affect their annual performance. The employees will also be excited to attend the training as it is an easy way to gain more points for your scorecard.  This provision should not give any exemptions to managers or junior staff. It should apply to the whole organization.  Jim should also come up with a training routine that he will be using during his sessions.  This routine should be strict on issues like lateness and failure to attend the training.  He should apply the same routines and make small adjustments where need be.  He should, however, be careful not to make assumptions when adjusting his training routine. As opposed to making training optional, Jim should push for the organization To render training compulsory.  They should be however exemptions where employees can choose not to attend a training session.  This should be approved by their manager and the training manager. A leadership style that a manager applies is crucial in determining their success.  Different styles should be applied in different situations.  This calls for intelligence in a leader when choosing a leadership style to use (Nohria & Khurana, 2010). A leader should be able to cope with any situation. Using different styles of leadership is a way of dealing with different situations. A successful leader is one who can apply different styles of leadership in different situations training (Nohria & Khurana, 2010).