Situational Leadership

I had a very difficult morning. It was one of those days where I seemingly had no reason to be irritable. 

I had a good night’s rest and woke up to the delicious smell of coffee. I got to work and barely said hello to anyone on my way. I was just grumpy for grumpy sake. 


Halfway into my grumpy breakfast, I received an instant message on my Lync messenger from one of the Software Engineers on my team. He was just saying hello and wondering if I was okay because I walked past him without so much as a smile. 

I promptly walked to his workstation and smiled. I apologised for making him a victim to my mood but it was so difficult for me to be chirpy when I felt so out of kilter. 

After my tête-à-tête with him, I realised that I should never apologise for how I feel but I should ensure that my feelings are kept in check so they do not affect others. I need to master this art.


This leads me to an entirely different train of thought. Do you think it is pure laziness for a leader to treat everyone on his/her team in exactly the same way?


We are all different in ways too numerous to enumerate and on my team, I have noticed for a fact that I can never seem to get an optimum output from a certain team member before 1pm whilst another is the opposite. If I need anything urgent from him past 1pm, I am just deceiving myself. How do I handle this vastly different individuals on my team?


I really do wish I could say I have figured out the foolproof method but I know for sure that relating to them in the same way doesn’t work. I have learned a number of things in engaging differently with certain team members. These 3 nuggets may be useful to you:

1.       Get to understand you team’s mindset: I usually disagree with a lot of things people say and do partly because my training as a Legal Practitioner puts my drivel filter on high alert; and partly because I enjoy utilising the dialectic method of argument to ensure a person’s stance is not based on fallacy. Drilling past a person’s utterances and attitudes without being irritated helps you learn how to deal with them in such a way that you get optimum results from them.

2.       Forge relationships: It is necessary to invest in the people you lead and as with normal investments, you can have no semblance of understanding of what you want to invest in until you have a relationship with it. 

Yes, you may have to grit your teeth whilst listening to seemingly endless whingeing but remember, forging relationships with your team is not ultimately about you. It is about ensuring that the right environment exists for the team to thrive.

3.       Take care of yourself: This is where you need to find the delicate balance between enlightened selfishness and blatant stupidity. Don’t think that being readily available to everyone is an act of selflessness. It is stupidity of the highest order as you would simply have no time to ensure you are at your optimal performance. Spend time with yourself also and take care of what you eat, read, watch and how you rest. No one wants a burnt out person as a leader. Your grumpiness would rub off and soon, you would be leading a bunch of grumpy people. No amount of coffee can cure that.


In other news, did you read about Tesco posting a record annual loss of £4.3bn? I reckon this is the biggest loss in the history of British retail. Sometimes, it is not about how many new stores you open or how updated your technology is. Other factors contribute to such whopping and I won’t bore you with the details.


Have a lovely day people!




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