Choosing a Leadership Pattern



Picked this up from a book called:  How to Choose a Leadership Pattern by Robert Tannenbaum and Warren H Smith (Harvard Business Press)


Boss Centered <——————————————————> Subordinate Centered

The types of behavior that run along the continuum are:

1 Leader makes decision and announces it

2 Leader “sells” decision

3 Leader presents ideas and invites questions

4 Leader presents tentative decision subject to change

5 Leader presents problem, gets suggestions, and makes decision

6 Leader defends limits, asks group to make decision

7 Leader permits subordinates to function within limits, defended by their superior

As you can see from the above list, the continuum runs from the (1) leader having full responsibility to (7) the responsibility for decision-making placed in the hands of the staff. One point to remember or consider is that there is usually someone holding the leader responsible for the quality of the decision no matter who made it. Which style do you prefer?


One thought on “Choosing a Leadership Pattern

  1. coachk17 says:

    I prefer number 5. Decision making is ultimately the responsibility of the leader. Though it would be foolish to ignore that your team has special talents and abilities that could benefit your decision making. I like to get those perspectives and suggestions before I decide. It is also good to keep in mind that you shouldn’t ask for opinions if your mind is already made up. it is insulting and causes resentment.

    However, a leader is going to be in lots of different situations. over the course of a life spent in leadership one will have to use all of these and be able to recognize which on is right for the situation. For instance and Pastor could go through the process of #5 with his inner circle then move to #3 for the rest of the congregation then move to #2 in order to get the people who don’t agree on board. these issues aren’t really a matter of dedicating yourself to one and sticking to it. They are a matter of recognizing when which one is appropriate.

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