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Versatility In Leadership

The world is changing rapidly, and businesses need to be able to adapt quickly to succeed, meaning leaders need a flexible approach to developing their teams.

There are many reasons why it is more crucial than ever for leaders to be versatile and adaptable in their style. First, the workforce is becoming more diverse, with different personalities, varied cultures, and multiple generations being thrown into the mix. Second, the business environment is becoming more complex, with new challenges being faced daily. Third, technology is changing rapidly, meaning leaders need versatility in the way they communicate and engage with their teams.

So, being able to adapt your leadership style to what is in front of you can help you to get the best results, build stronger relationships with your team, and create a more positive and productive work environment. Now who wouldn’t want that?

This isn’t new news though, however, in this multi-faceted business world we find ourselves in, it could never be more crucial to embrace it.

What is Situational Leadership Theory?

Back in the 1960s Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard developed Situational Leadership theory while working on their book, ‘Management of Organisational Behaviour’. It is based on the concept that there is no one "best" leadership style. Instead, the most effective leaders are those who adapt their style to the specific situation.

Versatility and adaptability are two primary requirements of an effective leader, along with being able to assess the readiness of the team or individual for a particular activity or task. The cherry on top is then choosing the appropriate leadership approach to develop your team while delivering results.

There are four main leadership styles in Situational Leadership theory:



Here the leader defines the tasks of their team members and closely supervises them. This leadership style is effective for inexperienced or first-time employees who need to be closely supervised, perhaps team members who lack competency but are committed to developing in their role or new employees who need direction to learn policies, practices, and processes.


In this leadership behaviour, the leader still defines and assigns roles and tasks, but the communication is no longer one-way. While decision-making power may remain with the leader, they are more receptive to receiving ideas and suggestions from the team. This style can help less experienced employees who still need some guidance or in developing individuals who are competent but lack confidence in their abilities.


Here the leader gives control and minimal supervision to the team. While day-to-day tasks and instructions may be given to the team members, they have independence in the way that they choose to accomplish the task. Often this style of leadership is best used when dealing with experienced employees who lack self-esteem or motivation.


The final leadership style is delegation. At this stage, the leader is still involved in decision making but the tasks and processes are fully delegated to the team. This style is most suited to experienced employees, who can recognise what is required to accomplish certain goals and are looking to stretch themselves into the next stage of development.

What are the benefits of using situational leadership?

Increased productivity

When leaders use situational leadership, they can get more done, matching the leadership style to the needs of the situation, which results in a more motivated and engaged team.

Improved morale

Team members will be more engaged, leading to a more positive and supportive work environment, as the leader builds strong relationships with the individual, leading to increased morale and satisfaction.

Reduced stress

Using situational leadership avoids micromanaging tasks and activities, empowering the team to take ownership of their work. This can reduce stress levels for both you and the team.

So, if you're looking to improve your leadership skills, situational leadership is a great place to start. By learning how to adapt your style to the situation, you can create more effective teams and businesses.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Assess the readiness of the team or individual. This means considering their skills, experience, and motivation.

Be flexible. The situation may change, so be prepared to adapt your leadership style accordingly.

Communicate effectively. Let the team or individual know what you expect of them and how you can help them succeed.

Situational leadership is an important skill for leaders of all levels. By being able to adapt their style to the situation, leaders can create more effective teams and businesses.

How are you going to adapt your style this week?

Have a brilliant week!

Dave Rogers, Chief Business Explorer, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up

And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel @thebusinessexplorers.

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