Examples of Leadership Grid Styles
In any organization, good leadership is essential for long-term success. The challenge for leaders is how to ensure that their leadership style is the most appropriate for their specific workplace. In the 1960s, management theorists Robert Blake and Jane Mouton developed a leadership grid style intended to help managers and supervisors better adjust their strengths and weaknesses as it related to their employees. The grid was divided into managers who were concerned for people, and managers who were more concerned with results. Five leadership styles are based on these two management types.
Motivating or communicating with their workers does not concern managers who are defined as “impoverished.” Leaders who exhibit this style are not concerned about results because they lack the drive to care much about productivity. They tend to use as little energy as possible. Their goal is to accomplish the bare minimum that will prevent them from being fired. Managers who practice this style are not concerned with achieving high productivity nor do they show any interest in coaching their workers to attain new skills and reach new levels within the company.
As the name implies, country club managers are almost exclusively focused on the welfare and happiness of their team. They go above and beyond to ensure that their workers’ needs are met under the belief that happy, content workers generate high productivity. As a result, country club managers rarely correct negative employee behavior and avoid conflict, even when conflict is needed to motivate workers to produce at an acceptable standard. Managers who practice this style are people-pleasers who want their employees to like and respect them, which means that they are willing to sacrifice productivity in the interest of keeping their people happy.
Authoritarian managers are categorized under the produce-or-perish style, in which they are able to generate high results but never develop a close relationship with their team members. Managers who practice this style view the workers as tools to further the goals of a business, and they generate productivity and efficiency by setting high standards and implementing strict work rules and procedures. Results under this style are often positive in terms of production but negative in terms of team morale and motivation. Produce-or-perish management may work in the short term, but over time, worker dissatisfaction may lead to a revolt or a sharp decrease in productivity.
The middle-of-the-road manager values productivity and people and strives to balance the two in daily interactions with staff. Instead of ruling over a team with an iron fist, the middle-of-the-road manager is more lenient, believing that giving workers freedom is the key to increased productivity. The weakness of this style is that this type of manager typically tolerates average performance. As a result, productivity is often also average.
Like middle-of-the-road managers, team leaders strive to balance concern for people with a concern for productivity. The main difference is that unlike middle-of-the-road managers who set average standards, team leaders set high-productivity standards and are not afraid to push their teams to reach those goals. Team leaders aren’t concerned about being liked by their staff, and they take corrective action if a team member is slacking off or not giving full effort. However, they also reward workers for good work and are encouraging when it comes to promoting their team members and helping them attain new skills. Team leaders often run the most successful teams in a business, but they must constantly maintain the balance between pushing their workers hard and rewarding them as a continuing motivation.