Who are Hersey and Blanchard – the Dr’s of Leadership

Dr. Paul Hersey, behavioral scientist and entrepreneur best known for the Situational Leadership Theory was born in 1930. Hersey is presently a distinguished professor of leadership studies at Nova Southeastern University.

An interview done by Schermerhorn quoted Hersey talking about his theory. Hersey says he doesn’t consider situational a theory but a model. The difference is that a theory is something that you construct to analyze it and study its process and a model can be replicated. Hersey went on to summarize that the model is not about being effective as a leader but about matching the behaviors of leaders. These are the behaviors used to influence other people. Situational Model has trained more than 14 million managers in nearly 1,000 businesses and organizations.

Dr. Hersey worked with Dr. Blanchard on the situational model; however Dr. Blanchard who attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has written many books to support his title as a leadership guru.

Dr. Ken Hartley Blanchard a Jersey born New York native is an American Author, management expert who sold over 13 million copies of his book. His book, One minute Manager, has been translated into 37 languages and is known internationally. Blanchard has written other books dedicated to the behaviors of leaders, such as; One Minute Apology, a powerful way to make things betters and Whale Done, the power of positive relationships. He currently runs a consulting firm co-founded by his wife in 1979. The Ken Blanchard was named one of the top ten leadership professionals by the international leadership guru in 2007

Influence Myths and Musts

Here is what influence through leadership is not:

  • Being pushy, overbearing and intimidating.
  • Using bribes to make people do what you want
  • Paying for a service in order to get something you want
  • Encourage your husband to pick up the dry cleaning
  • Performing an influencing role such as a priest or a teacher or policeman

Formal influence is one that is put upon another by someone in an authoritative role.  For example, a supervisor reprimands a staff member for slacking. They force the staff member to do theirs and everyone else’s work (or else) to enforce a lesson.  Influence does not exist here because the staff member has no choice in the matter.  Instead they have been punished.  This staff member may remember the lesson and ensure that they do not experience this again but whether this influences them to be a better team player is another question.

If, on the other hand, we look at a secretary to a director who is too busy to respond to people those people will approach the secretary if they are known to have the director’s ear.  The only way that a secretary will have a director’s ear in the first place is if they have influenced this.  On delivering the message to the director, the secretary finds them unable to concentrate.  Te secretary, who is distanced from the situation, is more able to see a practical solution and offer one.  If this solution is not only accepted but implemented then the secretary has been the real leader. This is informal leadership and influence because the secretary has not been assigned a formal role of leadership, yet has the traits of leader.

Example of Influential Leadership in Action

We are always looking for great examples of influential leadership to share with you. The other day I was thinking about who would be great Australian business leaders to interview on the principles of influential leadership and one particular leader came to mind. So I emailed him.

Not knowing me at all and having no reason to really respond to my email request given I had more to gain than he did, within 2 hours of me sending my email I received a phone call. The phone call was from someone from within this leaders business who had been specifically requested to call me and deliver a message.

Whilst this particular leader was unable to help me with my specific request he did volunteer a prominent person within his business for me to interview.

Not only had this leader read my email soon after I’d sent it, he’d actioned it. And what makes this example even more inspiring is that the person he requested respond to me did so within an hour of receiving that request.

What took this leader 3 minutes in total to do has had the following impact:
1. I blogged about it so that others can learn from this example
2. I have told almost everyone I know, naming the person and their company which has only served to boost the companies reputation and that of the leader
3. He has created a raving fan out of me instantly, I will support whatever he does or whatever his business does.

His 3 minute action kicked in the following laws of influence:
1. Law of liking – his action served to increase his level of likeability
2. Law of social proof – his action of prompt response resulted in his staff member following suit
3. Law of reciprocity – he has done me a favour leaving me feeling indebted to reciprocate in some way
4. Law of scarcity – not getting direct access to him makes me value any time that I might get from him at a later point

He may not necessarily have known the impact his 3 minute action had on his own staff, on me and on those I share this story with. If this is what he can achieve in just 3 minutes, imagine the influence this leader has within his business. He is a great example of the power of influential leadership.

What 3 minute opportunities are available to you?

Nelson Mandela

When it comes to influential leadership, few people stand out as much as this man does. In fact, few people from any walk of life could stand alongside him. Most people we have ever met or spoken to are simply in awe of this man. He is a true living legend.

Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 and has become such an international symbol for inspiration that we simply couldn’t leave him out of our leadership review.

If we were asked to choose just one word to describe him, that word would have to be reconciliation. The reason this world stands out for us is this: he was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage, and after spending 27 years behind bars, emerged to contest South Africa’s first democratic election, which he won and became President. Once in power, he never sought retribution or revenge, instead choosing reconciliation. As a result, he, and his predecessor Frederik Willem de Klerk, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Mandela was born into an influential family — his great grandfather was the King of the Thembu and his father was the Chief of the town Mvezo in the Transkei. The young Nelson was the first person in his family to go to school and it was there that his teacher gave him the English name Nelson. His real first name is Rolihlahla, which means troublemaker.

After graduating from school, Mandela enrolled at Fort Hare University where he read for a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He left the university after becoming embroiled in a protest against university policy, moved to Johannesburg and found a job in a law firm. He completed his arts degree through correspondence with the University of South Africa and when he completed that, he enrolled for a law degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.

When the Afrikaner-dominated National Party won the general election of 1948, Mandela became active in politics due to the new government’s apartheid policies. He found the ideas of Gandhi influential and began taking a leading role in the African National Congress’ (ANC) Defiance Campaign of 1952. In 1956 he and 150 others were arrested and charged with treason. They were all acquitted. In 1961 he became leader of the ANC’s armed wing, which he co-founded. The time for peaceful protest had passed.

Mandela coordinated a series of sabotage campaigns aimed at military and other government targets and began planning a guerrilla war as a last resort if all else failed. For this he was arrested in August 1962, charged, found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison (for leading a strike and leaving the country illegally).

In July 1963, leading ANC personalities were rounded up and arrested. They, together with Mandela, were tried for sabotage and plotting a foreign invasion of South Africa. All but one were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. They were lucky to escape the gallows.

After years of international pressure, Mandela was released from prison on 11th February 1990. On that day he commented in a speech that he would pursue reconciliation with the white minority of the country. The die had been cast and he was swept to power in the general election of 1994. However, due to his age, he chose to only serve one term in office as President and spent the next few years working for numerous social and human rights causes. Then, in 2004 at age 85, he retired from public life to spend most of his time with his family.

The United Nations has adopted July 18 as Mandela Day in recognition of the work he has done for social justice. What more can we say?

Bill Gates

Gates transformed Microsoft from a $1 million company in 1978 to a market leader in the software industry with revenues of $28.37 billion in 2002. Even though Microsoft was the market leader, Gates felt that the company should not become complacent and that it should constantly reinvent itself..

Born in October 1955, William H. Gates ? has ranked among the world’s wealthiest people since 1995, being regarded as THE wealthiest every year except 2008, when he slipped to third.

His name is now almost universally known, thanks to his work in popularising the personal computer and helping to make it accessible to the masses.

So how did he achieve this? Well, he was born into an upper middle class family and at age 13, was enrolled into an exclusive high school. There he became interested in programming the school’s computer and was allowed to do so instead of attending maths classes. How’s that for showing promise? And how’s that for foresight and initiative on the part of the school? Anyway, the first program he wrote for that computer was one that allowed users to play noughts and crosses against it.

Bill graduated from high school in 1973 and enrolled at Harvard College, where he spent much of his time on their computers. Funny that! By 1975 he was itching to start his own computer software company, which he did with his mate Paul Allen after reaching an agreement with Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) to develop a BASIC interpreter for the Altair 8800 computer. He called the company Micro-Soft. In November 1976, they registered the company, which was now simply called Microsoft. This marked the end of his studies at Harvard.

A breakthrough occurred in 1980 when IBM approached him and asked if he could write the BASIC interpreter for their soon-to-be released IBM PC. At that stage IBM mentioned that they were also looking for an operating system for their computers. He made a few suggestions which, for various reasons, never worked out, so he offered to produce one for them. He then approached Seattle Computer Products, who had an operating system called 86-DOS, and asked if he could become their exclusive licensed agent and ultimately it’s owner. They agreed, sales boomed and Microsoft suddenly found itself a major player in the computer industry.

In November 1985 Microsoft launched Windows and contracted to IBM to produce an operating system called OS/2. This arrangement lasted until 1991, when Microsoft began working on the development of Windows NT.

Gates’ stellar career does have a blemish, however, and that was his anti-competitive behaviour which landed him in court. The judge ruled that Microsoft did have a case to answer as it was behaving in a monopolistic fashion.

These days Bill Gates is best known as a philanthropist, donating small fortunes (and some large ones) to charity and scientific research. He runs, together with his wife, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What is clear to us is that the myth of Bill Gates the college dropout is well and truly rubbish. The word ‘dropout’ has such negative connotations and suggests that he left because he couldn’t cut it. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. You see, in our view, he was way above what was going on at college at that time. He was already programming computers as a kid and when most of us (who were around at the time) had no idea of what a computer was. The simple fact is that he was probably way to clever for the education system as it was back then.

Bill Gates is a true, outstanding, influential leader who has not only left his mark on the world, he changed the world as we knew it for the better and in so doing, changed the lives of everyone.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO of Apple Inc.
“Superlatives have attached themselves to Jobs since he was a young man. Now that he’s 54, merely listing his achievements is sufficient explanation of why he’s Fortune’s CEO of the Decade (though the superlatives continue). In the past 10 years alone he has radically and lucratively reordered three markets — music, movies, and mobile telephones — and his impact on his original industry, computing, has only grown.” —From the November 5, 2009 Fortune’s piece naming Jobs the “CEO of the Decade”

Before, only those who were loyal to their Apple Computer PCs were aware of who Steve Jobs was.

Nowadays, nearly everybody knows him thanks to that phenomenon called the iPod.

Steve Jobs and Apple Computer have had a love-hate relationship even ending at one time with Jobs being booted from the firm only to return in 1996 and completely turn the company around and back to profitability.

This achievement definitely merits Steve Jobs to be included in America’s greatest business leader list.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr., Minister and Leader of the American Civil Rights Movement
“We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade…. And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.” —Martin Luther King Jr., in a February 1968 sermon

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.

James T Kirk

Whilst not a real life being, James T. Kirk, Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise can teach us much about influential leadership…
“The first captain to appear on Star Trek was an energetic, hands-on leader. He led every crew excursion to new planets and took an active role in all interactions with new civilizations. Captain Kirk also relied heavily on his crew, especially his science officer, chief engineer, and doctor. He pushed them all to succeed but depended on their counsel to help him make decisions. His crew knew who was in charge, but responded to his call for their input and did their best to answer his needs. From Captain Kirk, managers can learn the power of involving and empowering their staff.” – from Crosstalk: The Journal of Defense Software Engineering, an approved Department of Defense journal

Oprah Winfrey

“Winfrey stands as a beacon, not only in the worlds of media and entertainment but also in the larger realm of public discourse …. When Winfrey talks, her viewers — an estimated 14 million daily in the U.S. and millions more in 132 other countries — listen.” —From the 1998 TIME 100.

Born on 29th January 1954 to a single teenage mother, she had a difficult upbringing, spending six years with her poverty-stricken grandmother, who it is said was so poor she made dresses for the young Oprah out of potato sacks. However, she made up for this by teaching her young granddaughter to read before she was three.

By age nine, Oprah (she was actually christened Orpah, which was usually mispronounced by family and friends as Oprah and it stuck) was being molested by a cousin, and uncle and a family friend, and after enduring this for another four years, she decided to run away from home. A year later, at age 14, she fell pregnant, only to loose her son shortly after giving birth.

She returned to school determined to get a better education for herself and soon excelled, winning a speaking competition amongst other things. By the time she turned 17 she had a part-time job as a news reader on a local radio station. From that day on, she never looked back and fielded a string of more lucrative job offers that came her way regularly.

In 1983 Oprah moved to Chicago to host a morning TV show that was languishing in last place in the rankings. Within the space of a few short months it was topping the ratings charts. In 1986 the show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and taken nation-wide.

Oprah was by now unstoppable; she starred in films and was actually nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Steven Spielberg’s movie The Color Purple.

She has also so far co-authored five books and publishes two magazines. She is active on-line with a web site that is visited by more than six million users a month and has a radio channel called Oprah Radio.

Oprah hit millionaire status by the age of 32 and by 41 she was reportedly worth a cool $340 million. She is considered to be the richest African American of the 20th Century, and in 2006 she was said to be earning $260 million a year. Forbes‘ international rich list has her down as the world’s only black billionaire in 2004, 2005 and 2006. She was, needless to say, the first black person in history to become a billionaire and has the honour of being the richest self-made woman in America.

Warren Buffett

Superior business leader and American investor Warren Buffett is often called “Oracle of Omaha” or the “Sage of Omaha” and philanthropist. (Wikipedia, 2007) Buffett is the CEO, and the biggest shareholder of the Berkshire Hathaway Company. Buffet’s has an estimated current net worth of approximately $52 billion in US funds. Forbes Magazine ranks Buffett the third richest person in the world in September 2007 behind Carlos Slim and Bill Gates.

Warren Buffett is known for his economical and plain lifestyle. Buffett still lives in the same Omaha, Nebraska house that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 with a current value of $700,000. In 1989, Buffett spent $9.7 million of the Berkshire’s funds on a corporate jet. He jokingly named it “The Indefensible” because of his past criticisms of such purchases by other CEOs. (Wikipedia, 2007)

Warren Buffett decided to make a commitment to give his fortune to charity back in June 2006. Buffet’s charity donation is approximately $30 billion, which is the largest donation in the history of the United States. The donation was enough to more than double the size of the foundation with 83% of it going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett believed that his family had enough money to get started in life so Buffett decided to give his fortune to charity. Buffet’s annual salary in 2006 was only $100,000. In 2007, Buffett was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. (Wikipedia, 2007)

What makes Warren Buffett a good business leader? This is what everyone wants to know because Warren buffet is so successful. It all starts with leadership. Warren buffet is a true leader where his leadership makes a difference in the world. Leadership is very much related to change and Warren Buffett has the capabilities of leadership change to fit the changing world. Warren Buffett has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to map read in the irregular waters of change.

Is Warren Buffett born a leader? Experience and research has shown little evidence that an individual who comes to power is a “born leader.” Warren Buffett took the falls that any other leader has to take. Warren Buffett learned from his mistakes and turned his mistakes into a positive thing. Warren Buffett shares his leadership at all organizational levels and Buffett is empowered to share leadership responsibilities. In the world of business, many titles related to leadership roles are actively used in business and Warren Buffett wears those titles to make him effective in multiple leadership positions in business. Distinction between good leadership and good management is made often. Managers are made to be organizational, controllers and budgeters. Warren Buffett has leadership in all three departments and one must have these traits to be a good business leader.

Another important trait in Today’s business leadership is communication. Warren Buffet is a skilled communicator in all aspects of life. Communication is the real key of leadership. Skilled communicators have an appreciation for positioning in the business world. Warren Buffet is experienced at positioning himself at the right place at the right time. He has the understanding of the people he is trying to reach and what he can and cannot hear from the people. Knowledge of audiences’ needs and wants gives the orator the ability to listen. Warren Buffett is an excellent listener with the ability to convey his understanding.

When Warren Buffett talks, people listen. He can send a message through an open door and does not have to push the message through a wall.

Leadership is crucial to any successful business and good leadership is what Warren Buffett is all about. This is what makes Warren buffet a good business leader.

Researched and Authored by: Michael J. Spindler