Description of Leadership Effectiveness & Adaptability

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A person develops leadership effectiveness and adaptability skills over time. Leaders can compare their behavior to the Situational Leadership Model, a resource developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey at the Center for Leadership Studies. By completing a self-assessment, leaders can identify their style, flexibility and adaptability. Developing their leadership capabilities allows them to become effective and resilient leaders. These leaders have more job satisfaction because they get better results, influence effectively, reduce stress, avoid alienating employees and manage time wisely.


Hersey and Blanchard have identified four different leadership styles that leaders can use in different situations. Using the “telling” style, the leader provides comprehensive directions to his staff and sets clear goals and roles. Using the “selling” approach, the leader tries to motivate and convince people to adopt the new processes and procedures. Leaders using the “participating” style share responsibility for decision making with their employees and become more of a facilitator than a manager. Using the “delegating” approach, the leader hands off the responsibility for making the decision to his subordinates, assuming they have the skills, knowledge, experience and desire to complete the task.


Organizations that assess and develop their leaders’ ability to adjust to new situations tend to be more successful. According to March 2010 survey results released by Accenture, 71 percent of companies report that resilience is the quality they look for when retaining employees. With training, employees develop leadership skills that enable them to inspire and engage the rest of the company. Morale improves despite a global workplace atmosphere of constant change and challenges. Leadership development programs allow executives to be promoted from within the organization, allowing for a more seamless and less disruptive succession when current leaders retire or leave for other job opportunities.

Leadership Effectiveness and Adaptability Description Survey

The Leadership Effectiveness and Adaptability Description survey, developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey at the Center for Leadership Studies, asks people to read about different situations and choose an answer that describes their behavior in terms of their work environment and their current role. The LEAD survey helps leaders determine how they behave on the job. Then, they can pursue training activities to learn and practice the skills they lack, such as effective communication, influencing others, establishing trust, and adapting tips, tools and techniques to improve operational performance.


Organizations need to identify the traits required to lead the company into the future. By assessing and developing the leadership behaviors used by its employees, companies can identify gaps in performance and fill them with training and development programs that cultivate the attitudes, actions and passion necessary for successful leadership. Developing leadership skills allows leaders to adapt techniques to work in new situations and better prepares them to handle the complex challenges faced by today’s executives.

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