- Workforce Solutions
- Outcomes & Impact
- Working with Kelly
- Find a Job
- Contact Us
- Employee Login
- Kelly Global
If you want to succeed as a manager, it’s important to keep expanding your knowledge and honing your skills. And one critical aspect of your development should be learning about the various leadership styles and when to use them.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I have my own leadership style, so why should I learn any others?” The answer is that according to experts, the most effective leaders adhere to situational leadership — a theory that states no single form of leadership is best. Instead, the situations and tasks at hand define the required leadership style.
The four leadership styles
In her article “The Situational Theory of Leadership” for VeryWell Mind, Kendra Cherry lists Hersey and Blanchard’s four primary leadership styles (S):
The four maturity levels
In addition, HR Zone advises that there are four different maturity levels (M) of the audience — or employees — who are being led:
When to use each leadership style
In general, the four leadership styles correspond with the four maturity levels. For example, if you have a group of enthusiastic entry level employees who qualify as M2, a selling — or S2 — leadership style would be most appropriate. Similarly, if an employee is highly skilled and experienced — M4 — delegating is likely most appropriate.
Flexibility is key
To be a good manager, flexibility is key. By analyzing what type of audience you’re working with for each task, you can select the appropriate leadership style — and that will increase your chances of success.