Saturday, November 9, 2013

Situational Leadership for Organizational Development

The Situational Leadership method from Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey holds that manager must use different leadership styles depending on the situation. The model allows one to analyze the needs of the situation and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on person's competencies and commitment to the task, the leadership style should vary from one person to another. Blanchard and Hersey characterized leadership style in terms of amount of direction and the support that the leader gives to his/her followers. Effective leaders are able to move around according to situation, so there is no one style that is right. Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower is also distinguished. Similar to leadership style, developmental levels are also situational. Blanchard and Hersey said that the leadership style of the leader must correspond to the development level of follower and it's the leader who adapts. By adapting the right style to suit the follower's developmental level, work gets done, relationships are built, and most importantly the follower's developmental level rises to everyone's benefit.
Hersey and Blanchard suggest that no single combination of task and relationship behavior is suitable in all situations. The one important factor for choosing the most suitable style of leadership for a given situation is follower readiness.
Follower readiness includes both the ability components and the willingness components that a person needs to complete a particular task successfully. The ability component includes knowledge, skill and experience needed to understand and perform the task. The willingness component includes confidence, commitment and motivation needed to perform the task.
The follower readiness can be divided into four levels. (Adapted from Paul Hersey, Situational Setting). Readiness levels are formed by different combinations of skill components and emotional components that are brought by people to each work.
1. Readiness level 1 (R1) - The follower is unable and unwilling to perform a task. He is not only lacking in specific skills required to do the job but also lacks confidence, commitment and motivation to tackle it.
2. Readiness level 2 (R2) - The follower is unable but willing to perform a task. The follower is lacking in specific skills but has confidence and motivation to make an effort. They can accomplish the task with help. The task or the situation might be new to him.
3. Readiness level 3 (R3)- The follower is able to perform the task but he is not willing to do it. He is experienced and capable but lacks the confidence to do it. For example a very bright student in the class is very good in solving math problems but lately he is not motivated to work on his homework.
4. Readiness level 4 (R4) - The follower has the knowledge, skill and experience to perform the task. He is fully confident, committed and motivated to do it.
There are different situational leadership models but the one most commonly used is the Hersey-Blanchard model, which separates leadership behavior into two general categories. Task behavior which is the communication and management of a work task that a group must accomplish with the follower and the Relationship Behavior, which is creation and maintenance of personal and emotional connections between the leader and the follower. Hersey and Blanchard suggest that no single combination of Task and relationship behavior is suitable in all instances but the different combinations are best for different situations. The four leadership styles are described as follows:
1. High task, low relationship (S1) - This leadership style includes more input of task behavior and less amounts of relationship behavior. The group members might have little experience with a given job. The leader will tell them what to do, when, where, how and who's to do it. For example, the principal of a school is planning a science-training workshop for the teachers. He as a leader may need to provide a specific checklist, sequence of actions involved, list the responsibility of the teachers in detail and frequently monitor the progress of a group.
2. High task, high relationship (S2) - This leadership style needs high inputs of both task and relationship behavior. The followers may not have the necessary knowledge or skill but they are committed and eager to learn. They need guidance and directions for accomplishing the task. But since they are making an effort, the leader should provide encouragement and motivation to the followers.
3. High relationship, low task (S3) - This particular leadership style needs high inputs of relationship behavior and very low inputs of task behavior. The followers do not need a great deal of structure and direction as they have already demonstrated that they know how to perform. They need support and encouragement from the leader in order to build their confidence.
4. High task, low relationship (S4) - This style needs very low inputs of both task and relationship behavior. The followers in this case are competent and willing to perform a task. Very little guidance and direction is needed. They do not need a lot of supportive behavior. Still, the leaders need to see that the followers stay on the track and the leaders get some feedback about the task.
Leaders may change their leadership style over time from directing (S1) to coaching (S2) to supporting (S3) to delegating (S4) as performance improves. But if progress is not made, the leaders might have to back up and redirect their team until there is improvement. Leaders need to decide and do what the people are not able to do for themselves. There is no one best leadership style. The kind of leadership style that will be applicable in a particular case depends on the follower readiness in that situation.
1. For readiness level 1 follower, the leadership style S1 is suitable. The words used for this kind of leadership behavior are telling/directing/guiding/structuring. This includes high task, low relationship focus. Decisions are made by the leader and announced. The communication is largely one way. The followers need directions and supervision.
2. For the readiness level 2 followers, the leadership style S2 is suitable. They need high task, high relationship focus. Leaders define the roles and the tasks but seek ideas and suggestions from the followers. Communication becomes two-way. The follower is relatively inexperienced so he needs direction and supervision. They also need support and praise to get them motivated. Their involvement in decision-making will restore their commitment. The words best describing their leadership situation are selling/coaching/explaining/persuading.
3. For the readiness level 3 followers, the leadership style S3 is suitable. They need low task, high relationship focus. The leader facilitates and takes part in the decisions but the control is with the follower. They do not need much direction but support is necessary to boost their confidence and motivation. The style is of participating/encouraging/supporting.
4. For the readiness level 4 followers, the leadership style 4 is suitable. This has a low task, low relationship focus. The followers are able and willing to work on a task by themselves and need only little supervision and support. For example, a software engineer is skilled, competent and confident for the technical aspects of his job but it unable to workout his budget. So, the engineer's manager would provide little direction on the technical issues (S4), but a high deal of direction and close supervision over the engineer's budget (S1-directing or S2-coaching).
Situational Leadership is a model that allows the manager or leader to analyze the needs in a situation and then adopt the most appropriate leadership style. The mystery of leadership and follower ship goes on all around us and within us. We are all in some measure leaders and followers-as most of us, alternatively are parents and children, employers and employees, teachers and taught.
Meenu Arora has contibuted her articles for both online and hard copy magazines. Her articles have also been published in international magazines. Presently working in the healthcare industry, she has also written and edited Health Q-A columns for international magazine for 5 years.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Baby Planning Skills Can Turn Into a Business

If you have experience planning for a baby and knowing what to expect before you have a baby, you might be surprised to learn that you actually have the skills to start your own baby planning business.

A baby planner is a consultant that can come into a newly expecting mothers home and help consult her on what things she can do to prepare for the baby.

Some of the skills it takes to be a good baby planner are:

- Listening skills and the ability to relate to people
- The desire to help people
- The ability to be organized
- The ability to make suggestions to people and help them feel good about themselves

The more experience you having planning for babies, the more suited you will be for the task.

Baby planning is also a great career for someone who needs flexibility with their work schedule. Baby planning services would be so flexible. You could visit with clients at only the times when it works best for you. You could also run the baby planning services from your home and do online consultations only.

There is a lot of flexibility with a baby planning career and there is also hardly any competition. There are VERY few baby planners in the US as of 2011.

The cost of starting a baby planning business is very low. You will need to start with a plan and a checklist of those things that you will need to cover with your clients. You will be visiting with them, either online or over the internet and helping them prepare for their new baby. If personal visits seem too unrealistic for your lifestyle, you might want to set up an online baby planning consulting business. Nowadays, it can be very simple to set up your own website.

You will need to market your business also. But, there are many free ways to market yourself online and offline if you are starting out on a tight budget. As your business grows, then you might want to consider putting more money into marketing to bring in more clients. The nice thing about a baby planning career is that there is no equipment to buy or expensive start up fees. You can start as small as you would like.

If you have experience with babies and baby planning and are looking for a way to work from home, definitely consider starting a business as a baby planning consultant. -- Learn How To Start a Baby Planning Business of your own! I can teach you all the steps and tricks to building your business and marketing your baby planning business. Visit for more detailed advice. Source:

Monday, October 14, 2013

How to Find Clients for Your Virtual Assistant Business

You have your business setup. Your finances are covered for a couple of months and you are ready to get your clients and start making some money. Social media is the usual route. But now you have more options. Companies like Elance, odesk, freelancers are the best way to go. You are applying with business owners that are in need of a virtual Assistant not just advertising to businesses that may or may not need your assistance.
These companies are freelance companies. Which means business owners go to these companies to save on hiring an actual person to help with their work load. They may have someone on maternity leave and need to hire someone for a couple of months to do her job, or they may be a small company just starting out and do not have the space or the money to hire an assistant.
This is where Elance, Odesk, and comes in. The business owner post the job they need done for their business such as: data entry, transcription, customer support, email support, customer service call center support, desk top, excel and much more. Your job is to set up a profile with each company and start your search. Your profile should concise of your personal information and your business information, also your skills and a resume. It is very important that your profile has all information needed for business owners to review. Once this is done for each company they have test you can take. Some are free and some may cost you. The cost is only $4-$6 USD at most. I would advise that you take the time to take some of the test. This way you will have some credentials added to your profile.
The next step is applying for jobs. They have jobs that are as low as $4 an hour. I know this seems like you are really under paid and you may be, but this will help you build your profile. When employers look at your profile and see that you have done 3-4 jobs already with good feed back they will hire you over someone else that would not have any feedback. So you should apply and take the jobs for $4 just for now to get experience and build your profile. Once you have done a couple of jobs you can now start to apply for jobs offering $7-$10 an hour.
Make sure the companies you work for you build and great work relationship with them. Your goal is to try to keep them as your client. Offer them extra help, this way they will love your work and you can then offer to add them to your own client list. This is a great way to start building your client list for your business.
Freelancers For Business
For more information on Virtual Assistants please go to
Tisha Robinson

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