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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

A Model for Team Leadership and Management

There are countless resources and models of leadership theory and whilst you need to find your own path in the world, it is helpful to stand on the shoulders of others rather than relearning centuries of leadership lessons.

Action Centered Leadership is a model developed by John Adair in the 1960’s. The model is a simple template which can be used to guide us in the management and leadership of any team. It is easy to remember and apply, and to adapt for your own situation.

Adair’s theory claims that leaders are responsible for three functions that are represented by three overlapping circles:

1. Achieve the task

2. Build and maintain the team

3. Develop the individual

The three circles typify the core areas of concern for the leader which are: achieving the common task; developing and meeting the needs of individual team members; and building and maintaining the team. If all three elements are satisfied, then the team becomes effective, achieving the required results.

Each element of the model is of equal importance and success comes when the right balance is achieved between all three. An effective leader will vary the degree of emphasis upon the three components in order to respond to any situation, but still be mindful of the fact that each element has an influence upon the other two.

The leader is the person who establishes responsibilities, including objectives and measures. This means that, according to Action Centered Leadership, the leader sets the norms and standards and checks and reports on the achievements and progress of the general goal of the team and the individual employee.

With regard to the individual employee, the leader has the responsibility to discuss and evaluate the personal skills and results. In conversations with employees, he’s responsible for asking about the personal needs and to facilitate further development of the employee.

One of the key strengths of the Action Centered Leadership model is that it is simple and therefore easy to remember. The model proposes that to be a good manager or leader you must have command of, and make use of, all three aspects of the model. Obviously as the model is so simple you will need to adapt it as necessary to you own situation – perhaps putting more effort and time into team management than the management of individuals, for example.

An important point about the model is that it anyone can use it regardless of the position within an organization. So do you think this is a model you can use for team leadership and management.

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