Over the last few decades, people in the field of management have been involved in a search for a “best” style of leadership. Yet, the evidence from research clearly indicates that there is no single all-purpose leadership style. Successful leaders are those who can adapt their behavior to meet the demands of their own unique situation. The choice of a leadership style has intrigued both academicians and practitioners.
Situational Leadership requires incredible judgment based on task knowledge and human assessment. It is the responsibility of the leader to use his or her skill to assess what type of leadership technique to use.
Situational leadership is a management style developed by noted management gurus Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey. The fundamental precept of situational leadership is that there is no one "best" style of leadership, and that the most successful leaders are the ones who can adapt their style to a given situation. Situational leadership consists of four general styles of management.
A leadership model that links the effectiveness of a leader's style to the current work environment is referred to as situational leadership. Situational Leadership focuses on the appropriateness or readiness of the follower. The leaders' perception of the follower and the situation will affect what they do rather than the truth of the situation. The leader's perception of themselves and other factors such as stress and mood will also modify the leaders' behavior.
The two basic leadership behaviors are directive and supportive. Directive leadership allows the one in authority to make decisions and demands on those he is leading. Supportive leadership gives tools from the leader to the followers to allow them to be involved in the decision making process. Blanchard derived four situational leadership styles, which were based on these two basic kinds of leadership behaviors, directive and supportive:
Directing: provides specific instructions and closely monitors progress; works best when followers are inexperienced.
Coaching: With the selling and coaching style of leadership, the leader is still very involved in the day-to-day activities. The decisions still ultimately lie with the leader; however, input is requested from the employees before the decision is implemented.
Supporting: provides direction and works together with followers to solve problems; works best when followers are not yet comfortable making decisions.
Delegating: turns over responsibility for making decisions to followers; works best when followers are experienced and comfortable making decisions.
Schermerhorn, John . "Situation Leadership." Mid-American Journal of Business 12 (1997): 5-12.
Butler, John K., Jr. and Richard M. Reese. “Leadership Style and Sales Performance: A Test of the Situational Leadership® Model.” The Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management Vol. 11, No. 3 (Summer, 1991), pp. 37-46
 Schermerhorn, John . "Situation Leadership." Mid-American Journal of Business 12 (1997): 5-12.
Billy Crow, Christ follower, husband of Meggin, daddy of Hannah and Eli. Blessed beyond measure in every way by Brett Callaway