In previous posts, we have talked about two big camps of leadership theorists: those who think leadership is all about a small number of universal traits, and those who think it is about a small number of different leadership styles.
Both of these approaches have merit. After all, there are particular traits that effective leaders appear to talk about, and yet, experience shows us that leadership isn’t a”one size fits all” proposition.
There’s an integral element in direction, but which neither of these theories actually speech: what role does the situation or circumstance play in leadership?
Put another way: in what ways is direction determined by circumstance?
Situational theories try to avoid the pitfalls of the style and trait theories by taking an environmentally-based instead of an individually-based approach to leadership.
Based on John Hemphill’s book Situational Factors in Leadership,” what an individual does when acting as a leader is in large part determined by characteristics of the scenario in which he works.” This approach assumes that direction will look different depending on what the situation requires and that no one strategy will work effectively in most environments. Situational theories hold that there’s nobody optimal profile of a pioneer. Go to the website of Artisan At Work for a better understanding of environmental leadership.
Intuitively, this makes sense. After all, the sort of leadership required to arrange a fund-drive for a seriously ill coworker is not the identical sort of leadership called for when a home is burning and people are trapped inside. In each circumstance, the situational theory holds, the sort of leadership we get is less determined by the quirks of the person than on the sort of leadership that is required.
The situational theory does have its limitations, though. In a strict sense, the sort of leader that emerges in particular situations can be examined and perhaps even categorized, but as far as really getting a handle on how people become leaders – and why some people become leaders in certain conditions and others do not – the theory does not have a lot to give.
The philosophical concept of leadership is probably most useful as a way of looking back at history and gaining insight about the increase of particular leaders – e.g., why Winston Churchill emerged so effectively as a pioneer for Great Britain during the catastrophe of World War II. (Hint: a great deal of expertise and charisma did not hurt.) But what if the perfect leader had not emerged?
However, because the sort of leadership called for in every particular situation can not be expected beforehand, the identical sort of situational theory could not have predicted the demand for Churchill’s kind of leadership in Great Britain before he came to power. This presents serious practical shortcomings (except for historians, of course!).
Nonetheless, the situational theory of leadership raises some significant questions worth considering.
To what level is the ability to lead depending on the context you are operating in? For example – are you more effective as a leader when you are working with people in the middle of a crisis, or more so when things are fairly stable from day today?
Do you work better in situations where the methods are clearly defined or ones in which you are free to improvise? Can you think of other people working better in the opposite circumstance?
The situational theory isn’t the last response (in later articles I’ll share what’s!), but it does serve to help us appreciate the complexity of direction.
Risks are minimized through situational alertness. Situational alertness can mean survival. Executives will need to collect information on the country they are traveling to and keep awake as to their environment. Situational alertness is a product of getting information about the country, the people, and the kidnap risks within the environment. Situational alertness should operate at a sub-conscious level functioning constantly, constantly ensuring that the executive is taking situational information in and then processing what’s related to executive security and security.
Scan the region, keep your eyes moving, maintain awareness, and prevent the element of surprise. Constantly analyze your environment, avoid problem areas, maintain situational awareness of in-country events and ongoing threats, and take better strategic advantage of your environment in advance of having possible trouble. Assess the situational information for what’s relevant, accurate, and useable for security in addition to isolating substantial components for prevention and prevention.
This includes active monitoring to detect, locate, identify, and prevent threats. Start looking for threat indicators. These are activities that support or deny possible kidnap threats inside your surroundings. Potential threats should be discovered and special events or activities related, giving you the ability to read and prevent kidnapping risks. Start looking for tiny shreds of evidence of kidnap risk activities that stage towards you as a present potential goal. Executives must know about the discrimination between threatening and non-threatening individuals and activities.
Maintaining alert and on the watch for kidnap threats is the best type of defense for executives to use. Maximum awareness and management of the environment offer readiness and prevention, enabling increased security. In general, practicing good situational alertness and surveillance awareness and observing for numerous sightings of the identical person or persons is the best way to prevent becoming a victim. Even if an executive finds the danger since it develops and acts immediately, there’s a much greater prospect of escape. But if the executive is captured fully off-guard, kidnappers have all of the benefits. This implies executives must keep a high degree of situational alertness for their surroundings, especially close to work and home and in any regular appointments or declared public events. By keeping aware of anything unusual or out of place, executives have a fantastic likelihood of spotting hostile surveillance or preparation for abductions. Maintain Safe Out There and God Speed.