Adair’s Action Centred Leadership Model

John Adair, one of the most respected leadership trainers in the world, spent years developing what is now known as Adair’s Action Centred Leadership Model. The model has three main parts, of which any good manager or leader should be familiar with. As a manager, you’ll need to be able to use all of these elements in your decision making process in order to control situations, keep things in balance, and get the results you ultimately desire.

The three components of Adair’s Action Centred Leadership Model are:

  • Task achievement
  • Team management, and
  • Individual management

You have sets of responsibilities within each component of the model. Let’s start with your responsibilities as a manager in charge of achieving a task. Just a few of these include:

  • Properly define the scope of the task
  • Identify which tools and resources you need to complete the task
  • Create a plan to achieve the task
  • Set controls and standards
  • Monitor and report on progress
  • Review and adjust the plan as appropriate

Your next step is to take a look at the group participating in the project with you, helping you to bring it to fruitition. When you look at the group in general you must:

  • Establish standards for communication, style, culture, and approach
  • Monitor the groups behaviour and establish boundaries for ethics, culture, discipline and conflict
  • Modify the dynamic of the group as necessary
  • Make sure the group is able to cooperate and work as a unified team
  • Lead the group towards the ultimate achievement of its goals

Finally you must look at each individual member of the group separately. This involves:

  • Understanding the needs and strengths or weaknesses of each person
  • Helping each person to define his own unique goals
  • Set responsibilities and objectives and reward them for being met
  • Develop strengths and utilize them with proper training

In all three categories you can see how important it is for you to be active in your approach. There’s no passive method for dealing with employees or projects with Adair’s model. No matter what model you follow, you’ll find that dealing actively with employees is a far more effective, proactive approach.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training

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