A couple of months ago I posted here about my new client John, who I’d helped identify the missing link in his application of leadership theory. He was going to try out the idea of situational leadership… so here’s how he got on.
John had tried to be more assertive and dominant in “telling” people what he wanted from them, and his own staff had been telling him that was what they wanted to see from him. He didn’t delegate enough. But he was perplexed when in practice he found resistance to his new, robust approach. What was missing was that John needed to CHANGE his leadership style according to the situation.
So, he’s now had a couple of months to adjust his style- and of course we’ve had a few more coaching sessions too. Bingo! After his initial worries about appearing to be inconsistent, feedback from staff and John himself is positive. Sure, not everyone is now getting an easy ride (why should they!), but respect for John as the business leader is at an all time high. What does this mean in practice- as we know, feelings can’t be measured as profits… or can they?
This is what John identifies as measurable outcomes of applying situational leadership:
1. Management meetings are on average shorter, now accounting for 6 hours a month compared to 10 hours
2. He gets far fewer interruptions from managers and other staff- he estimates now he’ll only have to spend time on 2 or 3 occasions a week with staff one-to-one on an unplanned basis (previously was three times that)
3. He spends much less time (about 1 hr a week down from 8hrs) chasing people up for results or feedback. He delegates well (always has been good, just didn’t delegate enough), and this hour is now all he spends hearing from his managers what they’ve done in response to delegated targets or issues.
4. His managers (there are only 3) now deal with almost all day-to-day stuff. They have weekly meetings with their staff, and he doesn’t even get invited- great! Result is, the teams he created now function as teams, and staff don’t bypass their managers by seeking out John as the soft touch.
5. John takes a day a week off- and enjoys it. Well, I say “off”, but it’s actually working from home.
6. The “killer” statistic? He’s had time to find, research and bid for 6 tenders (3 a month), and the company has heard they’ve won 2 (with 3 still undecided). Now that’s a result- or will be when he gets his managers to deliver on the contracts!