Modern managers should be constantly attempting to better their leadership skills.
This can be easily done by assessing various leadership models in order to utilise some of skills and principal ideas into daily routines.
Once such model is called the Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum Leadership Model, developed in 1973.
It focuses on two ways a leader can treat their team, by giving them freedom, or, the opposite, keeping a tight leash around them.
This model provides a continuum between dictator-like leaders, who keep all control to themselves; autocratic leaders, who run a democracy in the office; and leaders that are in between.
The model’s goal is to allow managers to give as much freedom to their staff as possible, which will decrease their authority.
It is important to keep in mind that this is not possible in all scenarios.
Employees’ skills and abilities will dictate how much autonomy each worker can handle.
Simply turning over all the power without properly judging if the staff can handle it is the wrong approach.
For new workers, or even existing ones, it may take roughly one to two years to move through the continuum with their managers empowering them along the way.
The theory identified seven levels of development that takes a manager from being authority-driven to freedom-driven. They are:
When managers are certain that the team can handle the additional responsibility of the “transfer of power” so to speak, which should happen gradually, they will benefit from a lighter workload and less responsibility.
However, Business Balls cautions that it takes a certain kind of person to be a “grown-up” manager, as they will need to give their staff the credit for good work, but be ultimately responsible for any issues or problems that may arise.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 22 April, 2016