Case 5.1: Marathon Runners at Different Levels
The runners are new to this activity and have accumulated no experience at all. Because they are all novices to running, they are classified as (D1) under the development levels. Their excitement about the race and their effort to show up each day is an indication of high commitment. So under the development levels, they are D1, low competence, and high commitment. This group asks basic questions constantly and is worried about their abilities in the race. For this reason, David should adopt the qualities of a coach represented by (S3) leadership styles. The group needs direction on the technicalities of a marathon. David does not expect, however, to deal with these kinds of questions and is not prepared. He is rather prepared to use Directing (S2), in his mind, his work is to direct and not to encourage this group coming to him with childish insecurities.
It is clear from their choice of words and their concerns that runners in group two are considerably experienced and know a thing or two about running, they possibly lie under the (D3) developmental level (Northouse). With this group, David is at his element being highly supportive and because of their experience, he does not need to apply a hands-on approach or exercise high direction.
This group’s experience and the ability of several of them to finish in the top ten put them at the D4 developmental category. It might not be David’s fault that he appears ineffective as a coach for this team. Their ego and an idea in their minds that they need a certain level of practice and tactics mean they do not appreciate David. They feel bigger than the New York marathon and look to focus on marathons beyond this one.
David’s experience as a marathon runner himself is important for his coaching; his idea of the sport makes him suitable to speak to other people as a coach. The way he deals with group 1 may suggest a little bias, which is not a strong point for a leader. He needs to exercise patience if he is to succeed in this position. He also needs to exert a little more authority and demand respect from Group 3 runners.
Case 5.3: Getting the Message Across
The current problem may be that training and leadership may be absent. It is good that Ms. Calder is interacting with students and relating with them, however, not having standards to run the station is major problem. She should focus some of her time training the students and holding them accountable than being friendly.
Ann’s hands off approach means she is mainly doing things the S4 quadrant way and has no idea why the students are not following the rules. It is important for her apply the S1 or apply more of the S2 approach where she exerts more direction and becomes more involved. The nature of students and their ages mean their excitement for working for WCBA and learning the radio does not teach them right from wrong. They should be coached with an experienced individual and moderate during shifts.
Ann can spend several shifts with the students and coach them on an individual basis. This will help her know how directive she needs to be with each of them. She will also be more informed on their level of skill. This is because situational leadership is based on the evaluation of employees’ skills and decides the level of need to amend in accordance.
Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications, 2018.