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Factors That Influence Choice Of Leadership Style

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In this assignment I will be looking at different leadership styles and the factors that may affect a leader’s choice of style, I will then discuss my own leadership style, how it is affected by my organization’s culture and how I could look to enhance my performance as a leader in the future.

There are three key leadership theories, John Adair’s action-centered leadership model, Tannenbaum/Schmidt’s leadership continuum, and Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model. Each of the models looks at the effects that different leadership styles have on the team and the output of work, and how a leader needs to be flexible to meet both of them.

John Adair’s model states that to be an effective leader a person must meet three needs, the task, the team, and the individual. For the most part, a leader must position themselves in the middle of the three rings for a team to run smoothly and to deadlines, however, they need to be able to move between all three rings depending on the needs of the task, team, or individual. For instance, a leader may need to become more task-focused when against a tight deadline or to achieve higher quality, but if a leader were task-focused all the time the team may start to feel unappreciated which would cause low morale amongst the group. A team-focused leader may be overly concerned with creating a harmonious team, which would create a pleasant working environment but could lead to deadlines not being met. Although morale may be high within the team an individual may feel as though they are overlooked. If a leader focused on the individuals each team member could become well developed in the skills they are naturally good at which could lead to a highly skilled team, however, tasks that are mundane may get overlooked and the team may not work well together as a whole.

Another of the key leadership models is Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model, this model looks at how the knowledge and capabilities of a team member combined with their motivation affects how they should be best managed.

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Within each quadrant there is a different leadership style, this style affects and is also affected by the competence and motivation of the team members. For instance, if there were a less competent member of the team with low motivation they would require more of a ‘selling/coaching style of leadership, the leader would need to be highly supportive and highly directive. In comparison, a long-serving member of the team who is fully trained and highly motivated would need more of a ‘delegating’ leadership style meaning they need less support and direction. If a leader did not get the right balance between directing, coaching, supporting, or delegating they may find team members would slide back down the scale as they may get overlooked for future training, begin to feel unmotivated or that were viewed as incompetent.

In order to look at my leadership style and learn how I can further develop it to improve myself, I have asked some of my team members to complete various surveys as well as completing them myself. The first survey I completed myself was based on the Tannenbaum/Schmidt leadership model. The results of this showed my natural style was less ‘tell’ and ‘join’ and more ‘sell’ and ‘consult’. The description of these traits by the survey is that, as a ‘sell’ leader, I like to be in control of my team and direct how things work but I also like to explain why. For the most part, I would agree with this as I try to get my team on board with the decisions I have made by explaining the consequences and my plan of action. The ‘consult’ leadership style is based on working with the team and their ideas to move forward but whilst understanding the responsibility and decision-making that lies with the leader. I would also agree with this statement, with my current team I try to give them choices which jobs they do within set tasks.

However, there are times when a ‘tell’ or ‘join’ type of leadership may be the more applicable, being aware of when I need to be flexible with my leadership style is essential. For instance, when there is a tight deadline or a quality issue it may be necessary to take on more of a ‘tell’ type leadership to prevent a situation from getting out of hand, or to be able to gather any evidence needed to relate figures to management level. However, when trying to develop staff into cell leader positions or when working with a very experienced team it could be beneficial to take more of a ‘join’ role.

The results from my surveys are quite interesting as the scores from my team show a clear trend in my leadership style, predominately ‘telling’ and ‘selling’. Both of these leadership styles are high task focus, which I agree I am. My own score is fairly even across the table however this I not reflected in the scores from my team members, this shows how I am viewing my actions and how my team views them is quite different. The first thing I need to do to enhance my leadership is to take more time to motivate some of my skilled staff who are lacking motivation and give them more opportunities to lead themselves and take ownership. As I currently have quite a small team it is difficult to create an autonomous environment where people can take ownership as everybody is dependent on each other, however, to develop the team’s skills for when we are busier I should use this time to delegate to my more skilled team members.

I feel my leadership style is governed slightly by the nature of the industry I am in, often being asked to produce work in a short space of time can mean the team has to be very driven to complete on time, from my scores I can see that I need to try to give the team the opportunities to develop pride in what they are doing so they feel empowered to motivate themselves.

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Factors That Influence Choice Of Leadership Style. (2021, August 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
“Factors That Influence Choice Of Leadership Style.” Edubirdie, 08 Aug. 2021,
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Factors That Influence Choice Of Leadership Style [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 08 [cited 2023 Mar 21]. Available from:
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