I had the opportunity to attend a Situational Leadership Training course through work this week. The situational leadership model is a leadership theory by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. Their theory combines recognition of individuals competence and commitment through four distinct cycles with a task based approach to helping people maximize their potential. The information on the internet varies with presentation but the core concept remains consistent. There are leader ship styles, development and maturity levels of individuals. To be an effective leader using this model requires situational awareness, flexibility and partnering with people. The purpose of leadership is to work with people to accomplish the goals of both the individual and organization.
What does this mean for the business of you? To rephrase the question, what does it mean to be a leader in our own life?
Attempting to keep with the principles and concepts of the situational leadership model, the business of you is influenced by your own decisions, actions, awareness of the situations you are in and how they relate to your own objectives. To be a leader in your own life is to seek personal mastery through continual learning. Mastery is not something to obtain, and ideal or platonic form but rather a state of mind seeking continual improvement, fulfilling our expectations or becoming. In any given situation, there is always something to learn. Even if we are highly confident and capable there are nuances or influences we can be more aware of. There are opportunities to improve even if it’s something we’ve done for twenty years. To learn, we have to be open to influence and receptive to other ways of doing things. This takes partnering with others to accomplish more than we can by ourselves. Another key aspect of developing personal mastery is to be in a constant state of reflection diagnosing our situations, our competence, commitment and determining the appropriate behavior and actions. As we expressed last time, “If we’re not learning, we are not adapting.” If we’re not adapting to the tasks and situations at hand, we are not leading or fulfilling our full potential.
So at the end of the day, reflect and ask yourself,
“What did I learn that helps me create the life I truly want?”
“Did I do anything to improve myself today?”
The next step is to apply what we learn. As we continue our reflection we can think about what we can do with our new knowledge or experience. One way to do this is in how I tell my kids how to go to sleep:
- Close your eyes.
- Stop moving.
- Breath deep.
- Smile and think about the good of today and imagine the good tomorrow will bring (I often just leave it at “smile” but remind them of focusing not the positive when needed.)
The last part is where we can think about how we can apply what we learned today. It’s when we can imagine our future as we drift off into the bliss of sleep. Of course, the most important aspect is to smile as it connects our body to our positive expectations of what may come tomorrow and engages our unconscious processes.