Byron's Babbles

Using Different Strokes For The Same Folks

With this week’s simple truth, I realized just why Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley wanted to name their latest book, DUH! Why Isn’t Commonsense Leadership Common Practice? instead of Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways To Be A Servant Leader and Build Trust, Making Common Sense Common Practice. Simple Truth #10 entitled “Effective servant leaders don’t just use different strokes for different folks, they also use different strokes for the same folks” reminds us that the people we serve will be at different development levels for the different goals, projects, and initiatives they are working on. Therefore, our people will need different strokes (leadership styles) for the different things they are doing.

“Managers who are servant leaders take a situational approach in leading people. They know they sometimes need to use not only different strokes (leadership styles) for different folks but also different strokes for the same folks in different areas of their job.”

Ken Blanchard (2022). Simple Truths of Leadership, p. 31.

So many leaders believe project improvement is all about emphasizing efficiency measures instead of the behavioural or interpersonal factors. While achievements of performance measures such as time, budget, and functionality are important, leading people to deliver results is needed instead of managing work. This also means that leadership style and the ability to practice situational leadership and use the right style in the moment for each individual. Let’s also not forget that this also reaffirms how important relationships are to leadership. We must really know those we serve to know the different strokes.


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