Jane Lewsi Case study Essay

This essay has a total of 642 words and 4 pages.

Jane Lewsi Case study

The Situational Leadership Model and the Jeanne Simmons Case

Introduction: The Situational Leadership Model

The situational leadership model is based on certain assumptions. One of these assumptions
is that there are different levels (or situations) in which a leadership style is played
out. In the same way that there are four different levels of readiness on the part of
staff or "followers", there are also four leadership styles. On the whole it is the level
that the followers are to be found that is most important element in the equation when a
leadership style is seen to be to be the appropriate style and is chosen from among four
possible styles. According to this idea leaders can choose to lead in any one of four
styles and within that style can operate through directive behavior (strong leadership) or
supportive behavior (employee developing leadership). The four levels of "followership"
can be listed and annotated as follows:

D1 Low competence / high commitment
D2 Some competence /low commitment
D3 High competence / variable commitment
D4 High competence /high commitment

The essence of the situational leadership idea is that each different "situation" of
employee readiness to follow calls for a different type of leadership. For example, if we
are talking about a Walmart "associate" training class we might be talking about D1. This
would call for a special style of leadership. The combinations are best shown in a graphic
that is available online at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/1650/htmlblanchard.html

The four leadership styles are named in each of four cells of the diagram. This gives us a
good preparation to analyze the Jeanne Lewis story.

Jeanne Lewis at Staples
When Lewis came to Staples she diagnosed a leadership problem in Safeway stores. The level
of followership readiness in the organization was probably best described as D2. The
stores were underperforming but store managers had been in place a long time. Lewis began
by chopping out all the old dead wood. This was the low point in supportive. Lewis
wouldn't support managers who were not putting out energy to lead their staffs. At first
Lewis's style was directive, but when some middle management executive staff didn't
respond to her directive style Lewis fired them. The survivors were then brought along by
Lewis who worked with them and who also encouraged store managers and other middle
managers to compete with each other this would fit in best with the coaching style. Now we
are moving into the coaching style as the developmental level of the employees is
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