Situational Leadership for Young Professionals

As a young professional, or even as students, we have had the opportunity to witness, and work under, different leadership styles: bosses, thesis supervisors, numerous professors and assistants, among many others. We know now that there is no such a thing as a “perfect leader”. What follows in this article is a short guide on how to improve your leadership skills as a young professional based on the situational leadership theory, from the perspective of the authority level, and the social interactions between leaders and team members.

leadership young professional

Image from (@bkotynski)

The Leadership Skills

A leader is set to be a person that shows direction, and (ideally) inspires, guides, and motivates the people under his or her command. Unfortunately, not everyone is raised or groomed to cultivate the confidence, dynamism, and excitement required for the team members to perform their activities efficiently and enthusiastically. However, leadership is not an aura but rather a set of skills. Therefore, it can be learnt and improved.


Now, what would be the set of skills required to increase performance and manage in an efficient way? Well, it depends. A very skilled but demotivated team won’t work under a direct, plain leadership style, although that can be perfect for an inexperienced, enthusiastic young professional. Effective leadership involves knowing the team, and acting accordingly, changing the leadership style depending on the task and the characteristics of the people under command. Sadly, there are no fail-proof guides for leadership styles, but some theories have been developed to improve the chances of success. One of those is the “situational leadership”.

Why is Situational Leadership Important for a Young Professional or a Student?

Image from (@brett_jordan)

Leadership is applied in a large amount of situations in life; therefore the likelihood of it being based on the situational context should not be surprising, but rather intuitive.  To attain desired results with the minimum use of resources, we must – if we aspire to lead – know and work on improving the main leadership styles under the situational leadership theory, and act accordingly, based on the competence and commitment of the group members.


Situational Leadership


Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard introduced the Situational Leadership Model in 1969 while working on the management of organisational behaviour. Since then, it has become a fundamental part of the adaptive model of leadership in the organisation (although it can be applied for many situations).

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Natalia Pitta Osses

Article Writer & Content Contributor

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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.

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