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.