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The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model is a leadership theory that suggests that effective leadership depends on the leader’s ability to adjust their leadership style to the readiness or maturity level of the followers they are leading. Developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard in the late 1960s, the model proposes that leaders must use different leadership styles depending on the readiness or maturity level of their followers, which is determined by their ability and willingness to perform a given task.

The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model identifies four leadership styles and four levels of follower readiness. The leadership styles are directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating, and the levels of follower readiness are defined as follows:

  • R1 – Low readiness: The follower lacks the ability and willingness to perform a task. They are inexperienced or uncertain and require a lot of direction and support
  • R2 – Some readiness: The follower has some ability, but their willingness to perform the task is still low. They may need some guidance and coaching to increase their confidence and motivation
  • R3 – Moderate readiness: The follower has the ability to perform the task, but their willingness may be variable. They require some support and encouragement to maintain their performance
  • R4 – High readiness: The follower has both the ability and willingness to perform the task. They require less direction and support and are ready to take on more responsibility.

The leadership styles that correspond to each level of follower readiness are as follows:

  • Directing: This style is appropriate for followers with low readiness. The leader provides clear direction and supervision to help the follower understand what they need to do
  • Coaching: This style is appropriate for followers with some readiness. The leader provides guidance and feedback to help the follower develop their skills and confidence
  • Supporting: This style is appropriate for followers with moderate readiness. The leader provides support and encouragement to help the follower maintain their performance and motivation
  • Delegating: This style is appropriate for followers with high readiness. The leader provides little direction and support, allowing the follower to take more responsibility for their work

The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model emphasizes the importance of adapting leadership style to the specific situation and needs of the followers. By matching their leadership style to the readiness or maturity level of their followers, leaders can be more effective in achieving their goals and helping their followers to develop their skills and confidence.


  • Contingency Models of Leaderhip
  • Leaders and Followers
  • Types Of Followers
  • Leader’s Behaviours
  • Leader’s Actions


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Mithun Sridharan

Mithun A. Sridharan is an entrepreneur, cited author and keynote speaker on Strategy, Management and Digital Transformation topics. He is the Founder & Chief Advisor at INTRVU, an admissions and career services advisory, where he oversees strategy, career services operations, publishing, partnerships and product management. He is also the Founder and Chief Content Officer at Think Insights, a leading education portal on Strategy, Management Consulting, Leadership, Digital Transformation, and Data Literacy. Mithun is a bottom-line driven executive with experience in leadership and senior management roles in strategy, consulting and information technology industries. As a Global Industry Advisor and Senior Client Partner, he regularly advises executives at Fortune 100 clients on their strategic business transformation initiatives. His institutional experience traces Amazon Web Services and Oracle, market leaders in information technology as well as global management consultancies, such as KPMG, Publicis Sapient, and CGI (Logica). where he incubated and scaled several consulting practises. Mithun also had a 4-year stint with entrepreneurship at BlueOS LLC, where his leadership ranged from company incorporation to acquisition by a Swiss holding group. He is a regular speaker at several industry conferences and has extensive publications at such high-impact magazines as the World Economic Forum, the American Banker, Wired, Forbes, etc. He holds an MBA from ESMT Berlin, a Master of Science from Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, both in Germany and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Madras, India. He is based in Heidelberg, Germany and can be reached via LinkedIn.


December 14
18:00 - 19:00 CET
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