Situational Leadership® Can Help You GROW!

Situational Leadership® Can Help You GROW!

As a matter of recurring practice and like many others in our industry, The Center for Leadership Studies (CLS) leans heavily on a highly diversified cross-section of our most loyal customers for feedback. In essence, we pose two questions:

  • What are we doing right?
  • What could/should we be doing differently?

As is invariably the case with these types of exchanges, we learned a ton! The central theme to the responses we consistently receive to the first question is: “Don’t mess with the model!”

In general, our customers speak to the depth of our foundation (pioneering contributions in the fields of organizational behavior in general and leadership development in particular) as well as the practical, usable common sense of Situational Leadership®.

Answers to the second question vary of course, but more often than not we hear any number of creative ties Situational Leadership® users are making to DiSC® or Emotional Intelligence while others spoke to how they leveraged the model to lead teams or drive change. Suffice it to say, the informed critique we receive continues to calibrate our competitive perspective in two ways:

  • We continue to develop offerings that extend the application of Situational Leadership®
  • We actively seek to effectively integrate Situational Leadership® with other core, common and critical leadership/influence content

In that regard, we are periodically asked about Situational Leadership® and the GROW Coaching Model. At a high level (and from our perspective), GROW is a collaborative deep dive into the realm of influence primarily populated by a manager and his or her direct reports (as distinguished from peer or upward leadership/influence attempts). GROW (like Situational Leadership®) is an interdependent, four-step model.

  • In Step 1, the manager and employee establish and agree upon a performance Goal
  • During Step 2, the manager and employee conduct reflective Reality testing in an effort to align on the gap between the desired state and current levels of performance. This is a product of self-reflection for the employee in combination with feedback from the manager
  • In Step 3, Options are explored. In a general sense, what can the employee do to bridge the gap? Who can help, etc.?
  • Step 4 identifies the Way forward. What actions will be taken? What is the timing associated with those actions, etc.?

If effectively implemented, managers and employees that work through the steps of GROW arrive at a place where there is alignment on what needs to be accomplished and a plan that will chart that course. Situational Leadership® can be leveraged as a mechanism for detailing the specifics associated with how those goals will be accomplished by providing a task-specific process to execute the plan. For each action in Step 4 of GROW (Way Forward), Situational Leadership® can help managers identify and employ a targeted leadership style that accelerates employee development. Perhaps the easiest way to wrap your head around that is this: Situational Leadership® helps you GROW!


  1. Experience Situational Leadership® (e.g., read about it [at a minimum]; attend a workshop or virtual overview; etc.).
  2. Do the same for GROW.
  3. Make an informed decision regarding the path forward for the managers and coaches of your organization.