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Lessons in leadership

The Autocratic to Democratic model

Tannenbaum and Schmidt developed the idea of leadership operating somewhere along a continuum which starts at automatic and moves through to democratic.

Some leaders will choose to operate at one point on this continuum for most of the time, choosing the approach with which they personally feel most comfortable. this might be, for example, at point (1) most autocratic; or, say, point (4) autocratic, leaning towards democratic. The most successful leaders will choose the point on the continuum which is most appropriate for the decision under discussion, the people on the team and the prevailing circumstance.

The Ohio State Leadership Model

Kerr and Schriesheim developed the idea that leaders focus on either initiating structure or consideration.

Initiating Structure

The leader is responsible for organising and defining the roles and activities of each member of the team. Here, the leader must choose who does what, when, how, where, to which standards and by which deadline. When initiating structure the leader tells the team members what is required of them if the team, as a whole, is to achieve goals and targets.


Here, the leader is responsible for checking out what (a) the team as a whole and (b) each individual on the team wants, needs, believes, requires, hopes for and thinks should happen.

Consideration involves:

developing two-way communication

establishing trust and a good relationship between the leader and each member of the

Fostering trust and good relationships amongst everyone on the team

showing consideration to the team as a whole, and each individual on the team

The Managerial Grid

Blake and Mouton developed the managerial Grid, which categorises leadership styles using the classifications:
Country Club


Middle of the Road



Country Club Management

The leader pays thoughtful attention to the needs of the group members and fosters a comfortable, friendly atmosphere and work tempo.

Team Management

The leader builds a climate of trust, respect and equality. Everyone on the team is committed to accomplishing the
team's tasks. People are independent and everyone holds a common stake.

Middle Of The Road Management

The leader balances the needs of the task with the needs of the team. The job gets done, on time and in the right way - and the team's morale and motivation are maintained.

Impoverished Management

The leader takes a back seat and allows the team to get on and do whatever needs to be done - as and when the team thinks it ought to be done, and in the manner the team prefers.

Authority/Obedience management

The leader takes control and uses his or her power ad authority to ensure that the work gets done as efficiently as possible.

Each of the leadership styles described in the Managerial Grid is based on a mix of:

Task orientation


People orientation

Situational Leadership

Situational Leadership grew out of the Ohio Model and was developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard (1988).

Using the Situational Leadership model, the leader operates using one of the following approaches depending on the people and circumstances involved:

High task and low relationship

High task and high relationship

High relationship and low task

Low task and low relationship

High Task and low relationship approach

This is the directing approach where the leader defines the task and tells the team member what to do, and how to do it.

High task and high relationship approach

This is the coaching approach where the leader, to some extent, negotiates the task and the way in which it will be carried out, taking into account the team member's skills, expertise and general preferences.

High relationship and low task approach

This is the supporting approach where the leader describes what needs to be done and allows the team member to participate in the decision-making process and choose, to a very large extent, how the job will be done.

By using Situational Leadership the wise leader adopts whichever of the four approaches is most appropriate for the situation and the people involved.

Excerpts from The University of Leicester Diploma in Management Resource Development International (RDI) Jamaica.
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