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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Situational Leaders Make Everyone Nervous

Imagine yourself and others riding in a vehicle on a very busy freeway, traffic heavy and moving fast. Your driver is jerking through the lanes and cars. You are seated in the back end of the vehicle with others, feeling nervous and possibly clutching hands with each other. There’s no projecting what might happen next as the situation is constantly changing and the driver is continuously reacting in a herky-jerky fashion based on a moment-by-moment constantly changing situation. Everyone in the vehicle wants to bail out for their own safety at any point an opening might present itself.

This is exactly the feeling employees and followers have with a situational leader.

Situational leaders:

  1. Are avoiding conflict at every turn

  2. Decisions are made recklessly and inconsistently

  3. No one on the team has any clue how any of the decisions will be made

  4. Followers and employees may even try to control information the leader receives due to the fact it’s unknown how they will react to it

  5. Followers and employees are always second-guessing the leaders actions and thinking

  6. There’s no thought about what consequences may occur due to inconsistent decisions today

Leaders who lead with principles, core values and consistent proactive direction make everyone on the team feel more secure. Employees may even be able to make the decisions at their level because they understand how decisions in the organization are consistently made. The culture makes most of the decisions, because the clarity of culture lets everyone know how “we do things around here”. Therefore there are no surprises, because most decisions are clear and apparant.

Leaders who advocate a strong culture are secure in themselves, which makes everyone feel secure.

Some things to consider:

  1. Are decisions being made today based on the clear culture or are they situational?

  2. Are decisions being made based on what’s right and wrong taking into account future consequences?

  3. Are there clear steps in the decision making process with clear communication or do things happen that consistently surprise everyone?

  4. Through the past history of decisions by the leaders, can everyone determine what is most important to the organization?

  5. Is conflict handled with openness and clarity or is it avoided through power and judgement?

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