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Bob White

A presentation on the 4 Styles of Leadership

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WHOA WHOA WHOA

 

Not my view. What I wrote came from the teaching materials of the author of Leadership and the One-minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard. He authored this training for the BSA. I used his words, his concepts, and teaching. This is the BSA method which I use. It is The view shared by Dr. Blanchard, the BSA and hundreds of thousands of adult leaders. Not just me.

 

Bob White

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What Baden Powell had to say about the patrol.

"The patrol is the character school for the individual. To the patrol leaders it gives practice in responsibility and in the qualities of leadership.

To the Scouts it gives subordination of self to the interests of the whole,the elements of self-deniall and self-control involved in the team spirit of cooperation and good comradeship."

If we look on Leadership or better still if we look at Team Leadership as the ability to move the team through the stages of leadership.

These stages being: Directing, Coaching, Supporting and delegating.

While the Leader is the person who must take responsibility for the team performance and getting the job done, he or she needs to be aware of the needs of the team.

About 40 years back Bruce W. Tuckman came up with the idea that all teams go through four stages in their development. He used:

Forming.

Storming.

Norming.

Performing.

There have been over the years a variety of ways to explain this.

Forming.

The Patrol wants to go to camp.

Everyone is keen to go. Morale is high.

But without some Directive Leadership, nothing is going to happen.

The leader needs to develop the goal, establish roles and orient the patrol. The patrol members may all want to go to different camp sites and all have different ideas of what they are going to do when they get there.

There is a need for direction which must come from the leader.

Storming.

The patrol still wants to go to camp.

Some are not so happy about where they are going or what the program will be, but they are starting to make preparations.There is still dissatisfaction. The leader is now in coaching mode, trying to get everyone to work for the good of the team/patrol.

Norming.

The patrol members are coming around, they are working hard to get ready for camp. Some are still not happy, but things don't look that bad.

Our leader is now in supporting mode, helping the patrol members to get ready and selling the camp to those members who are still a little unsure.

Performing.

This is when the performance stage. All the patrol members have come around and are busy doing what they do best in preparation for the camp. Our leader can now go into delegating mode.He has seen his team through the stages. However he is ready to fall back or even start all over again if things change.

This could be due to a new member in the team or a change of plan.

Eamonn(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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eamonn,

Excellent post!

 

Directing can be used in a positive way.

 

"Ok guy, let's get the gear unloaded"

 

Directing nicely! And there are times Scouts and adults need to be directed what to do!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed, It all depends on who said it, if it was the SPL, maybe its ok, if its the Scoutmaster or any other adults its dead wrong.

 

Actually, in a well trained and lead troop the statement "lets get the gear unloaded" would be superfluos, as soon as the cars get there, everyone knows their job and does it. Well, ok, maybe thats just a fantasy, but one to work too.

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"Ok guy, let's get the gear unloaded"

 

This is not a "directing" leadership statement. That would be like a factory forman walking in and said "Ok fellows let's build some widgets" that does not offer leadership. No real information is shared, no group or individual is developed, no organization accomplished no specific authority delegated.

 

Leadership doesn't deal in generalities. It identifies and accomplishes specific tasks through the development of specific people. What is the likely hood of a patrol leaders council success if the leadership they get is "Ok guys lets go run a troop".

 

Leadership has specific developmental goals for individuals as the task is accomplished.

 

Bob White

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Hi folks,

 

Bob, I have to admit to not having read Mr. Blanchards book, but I am sure that you are accurately reporting what he wrote.

 

As can be seen by the above posts, many people view the directing style differently. Personally I find the line about widgets to be very much in the directing style, its a little understated, but its an instruction given to a group of workers that clearly understand the task. It reflects the foremens personality and to some extent it defines the relationship that the foreman has with his workers.

 

Here is the situation that it might occur in Its Monday morning, the crew arrives at the plant for there ritualistic Monday morning crew meeting. The foreman fills them in on this weeks production goals, tells them that their contribution to the medical benefits program will triple next week, asks if anyone has any questions, and then, switching rolls, he says, Ok everybody get to work, now! no question here, this is directing. However, the foremans personality is such that he uses different words with a different tone, he says, Now lets go make some widgets, same style, different personality, and different tonal quality to his voice. You can almost see the crew huddle up and make some sort of cheer, but its definitely not coaching.

 

 

 

 

 

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In defining the "Directing style, Blanchard writes...In Directing the leaders gives specific instructions and closely supervises the task instructions.

 

Since the statement ""Ok guy, let's get the gear unloaded" is a general and not a specifc instruction it does not meet the criteria for "Directing" as it is defined in the Scoutmaster Specifc Training course, Wood Badge or Blanchards writings on situational management.

 

At best it is almost delegational in content. Where the leader's trust level is high and the group has displayed the needed knowledge and skill level to act independently. Still missing is the element of support that reinforces the groups confidence and recognizes their ability and reinforces the leaders ultimate responsibility for the work. Plus someone must be made responsible for questions or troubleshooting other than the leader if you are truly delegating. "Ted you know what needs to be be done for unloading the gear, I know you will do a good job, let me know when the guys are finished so we can move on to the next step."

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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"Ok guys let's get the gear unloaded" isn't directing? And it really makes no difference who says it! And just because it isn't in Mr. Blanchards book that way doesn't mean it ain't true!

 

Directing is telling someone to do something. "Ok guys let's get the gear unloaded" is telling someone to do something.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed please understand what the four of us are trying to do is explain the four styles of situational management as deveolped and defined by Blanchard, which is now included in the BSA training programs and handbooks. there is really no option for alternative definitions within this framework.

 

It is fine that you feel it should be different. But,since the BSA does not teach your feelings as the methods of scouting, or share your feelings with all trained leaders it has no bearing on the program or this discussion.

 

Bob White

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Directing: John (a PL), please have your patrol set up their tents before 5:00 PM so we can begin meal preparation.

 

Not Directing: Okay, everybody, go and be good Scouts!

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Very good Acco40 that is exactly right.

 

Now lets make this even more realistic. If this was an SPL talking to a PL or even a patrol member this would be directing and it would be the least appropriate style for this task.

 

Why? Because the SPL's job is not to tell patrol leaders what to do or to run the patrol. This kind of bossing around may get the job done but it will not foster teamwork, improve morale, or develop better leadership skills.

 

Which of the other styles could have been used to allow the Patrol Leader to remain the leader of the task, not the SPL, but still make sure the job gets done?

 

Bob White

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Some of this is getting lost in oversimplification and nuance.

 

Okay, everybody, go and be good Scouts!

 

This is not Not directing, it is simply not anything. Its a comment out of the blue with no intended purpose relative to the task at hand, and the task at hand happens to be getting the tents up before 5:00.

 

I dont see that the SPL wrestled the leadership role away from the PL. The SPL addressed the PL, not the Scouts directly. The SPL offered a concise reason for the request, and the SPL made the request in a polite tone almost as a reminder. It did not sound bossy to me. However, they call this situational management for a reason. We dont really know much about the situation. Why hasnt John got his patrol tent(s) setup yet??

 

John, all the other patrols have their tents up, is there a reason why yours arent?

 

John, the troop will begin meal prep at 5:00, will your patrol be eating dinner tonight?

 

John, did you forget that our troop begins meal prep at 5:00 and that we require all our tents to be setup before that time?

 

John, you need to have your patrol get setup, can I help?

 

John, those scouts of yours are awful skinny, I hope well be able to see them in the morning after a night without supper.

 

 

 

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An interesting array of comments foto however none of them fit the criteria of the Leadership styles of scouting as taught by the BSA. The question is using that criteria what would be the best style to use where the SPL would not have to tell the patrol what to do?

 

Remember all this is based on the troop using the scouting methods. In the BSA program the SPL does not run the patrols, the patrol leaders do. The role of the SPL is to act as the team leader of the patrol leaders. Just as the least desirable way for a PL to lead his patrol is by "Directing" so is it the least desirable way for the SPL to lead the PLs.

 

So in the case introduced by Acco40, which of the prescribed styles of leadership other than 'directing" would 'get the job done' and 'keep the group together'?

 

Bob White

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Hi Bob,

 

Step 1: Have a Duty Roster made and distributed well in advance of departure for all to review. (Delegation)

 

Step 2: Gather all PLs and QM together upon arrival. (Directing them into a mini PLC Mtg.)

 

Step 3: Establish the goals.

 

SPL: "O.K. guys, did everybody have a good trip down? Great! It looks like we'll be having supper at 6:00 tonight. What do we need to do to make this happen?"

 

Step 4: Making it happen.

 

John: "Well my patrols got cooking detail tonight."

 

SPL: "Great. What time will you be starting to cook?"

 

John: "Oh... about 5:30."

 

SPL: "Wow! That's pretty fast. What are we having tonight?"

 

John: "Well, we're having shish-ka-bobs, baked potatos and corn on the cob, with cupcakes for desert."

 

SPL: "Boy... that sounds great. How long will it take for your fire to be ready to cook on?"

 

John: "Oh... the fire... I forgot about that. And we've still got to cut up the stuff for the shish-ka-bobs and mix the cupcake batter too. Maybe we better start by 5:00."

 

SPL: "That sounds like a great idea. What do you need from us to make this happen?"

 

John: Well... we'll need our gear unloaded fast so we can get set up while it's still light, before we start cooking."

 

SPL: Billy. You're QM. Can you make that happen?"

 

Billy: "I'll start right now, unless you need me for something else."

 

SPL: "Not right now. We'll get you if we need you. Do you need anything else John?"

 

John: "Well... we'll need some water for prep and cleanup."

 

SPL: "Who's on water detail?"

 

Eddy: "My patrol is. I'll get it now unless you need me for something else."

 

SPL: "Not riight now. Go ahead. Anything else John."

 

John: "No. I think that's it. I'll see you all at 6:00 for a great supper."

 

SPL: "Great! See you then."

 

The whole conversation varied between the coaching and supporting styles of leadership, thus sharing the responsibility of making it happen with all that were present. Nobody was told what to do. They were simply asked or reminded what they were supposed to do in a pre-reflection style that the Troop JLT Program calls "Shared Leadership" to make it happen.

 

How's that?

 

Kris

 

 

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You are getting very close Kris. I really appreciate the change in tone your SPl has taken on. The only hurdle left is Patrol Leadership. Where is it? Why is the SPL doing all the leading that is not his job. Try working in the patrol method. (Hint: Troop cooking is not a scouting method)

 

I can't wait to see your next post...Good job.

 

B:)b White

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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