Academic journal article Journal of Leadership Studies

Paul Hersey Defines Situational Leadership Terms

Academic journal article Journal of Leadership Studies

Paul Hersey Defines Situational Leadership Terms

Article excerpt

In a recent interview with Paul Hersey, CEO of the Center for Leadership Studies in Escondido, California and originator of Situational Leadership[TM], the authors asked Hersey to define the essential terms of the model.

Authors: We've heard you say in the past that leaders cannot prescribe until they diagnose. We know that diagnosis refers to the readiness level of the employees. How do you define "follower readiness?"

Hersey: First, you have to remember that readiness applies to a specific task, job, objective or goal. "Readiness" is a function of two interacting variables: ability and willingness. "Ability" is the employee's knowledge, experience, and skill related to that specific task. "Willingness" refers to the employee's confidence, commitment, and motivation to do that specific task. You might call willingness psychological maturity. Another part of that psychological maturity, by the way, is the confidence or insecurity an employee feels. So, an employee could be willing but insecure in their ability to do something or unwilling to do something but quite confident of their ability.

Authors: So, basically, leaders have to diagnose how ready, willing and able an employee is to do a specific task and then decide what style of leadership that person needs. …

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