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Leadership in the Workplace

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exercise no. 1: Leadership matrix

Managerial Grid

The Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid (1985) uses two axis:
  1. "Concern for people" is plotted using the vertical axis
  2. "Concern for task" is along the horizontal axis.
They both have a range of o to 9. The notion that just two dimensions can describe a managerial behavior has the attraction of simplicity. These two dimensions can be drawn as a graph or grid:
 High 9 Country Club Team Leader
                           P       6
                           O       5
                           L       4
                                     1 Impovished             Authoritarian   
                                     0   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
                                   Low                                High
Most people fall somewhere near the middle of the two axis. But, by going to the extremes, that is, people who score on the far end of the scales, we come up with four types of leaders:
  • Authoritarian (9 on task, 1 on people)
  • Team Leader (9 on task, 9 on people)
  • Country Club (1 on task, 9 on people)
  • Impoverished (1 on task, 1 on people).
Authoritarian Leader (high task, low relationship)
People who get this rating are very much task oriented and are hard on their workers (autocratic). There is little or no allowance for cooperation or collaboration. Heavily task oriented people display these characteristics: they are very strong on schedules; they expect people to do what they are told without question or debate; when something goes wrong they tend to focus on who is to blame rather than concentrate on exactly what is wrong and how to prevent it; they are intolerant of what they see as dissent (it may just be someone's creativity), so it is difficult for their subordinates to contribute or develop.

Team Leader (high task, high relationship)
This type of person leads by positive example and endeavors to foster a team environment in which all team members can reach their highest potential, both as team members and as people. They encourage the team to reach team goals as effectively as possible, while also working tirelessly to strengthen the bonds among the various members. They normally form and lead some of the most productive teams.

Country Club Leader (low task, high relationship)
This person uses predominantly reward power to maintain discipline and to encourage the team to accomplish its goals. Conversely, they are almost incapable of employing the more punitive coercive and legitimate powers. This inability results from fear that using such powers could jeopardize relationships with the other team members.

Impoverished Leader (low task, low relationship)
A leader who uses a "delegate and disappear" management style. Since they are not committed to either task accomplishment or maintenance; they essentially allow their team to do whatever it wishes and prefer to detach themselves from the team process by allowing the team to suffer from a series of power struggles.

The most desirable place for a leader to be along the two axis at most times would be a 9 on task and a 9 on people -- the Team Leader. However, do not entirely dismiss the other three. Certain situations might call for one of the other three to be used at times. For example, by playing the Impoverished Leader, you allow your team to gain self-reliance. Be an Authoritarian Leader to instill a sense of discipline in an unmotivated worker. By carefully studying the situation and the forces affecting it, you will know at what points along the axis you need to be in order to achieve the desired result.

Leadership Matrix


Objective: To determine the degree that a person likes working with tasks and people.

  1. Have the learners complete the 18 items in the questioner section.
  2. When they have finished, have them transfer their answers to the two respective columns provided in the scoring section. Then, total the score for each column and multiply each total by 0.2. For example, in the first column (People), if the learner answered 5, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 5, 4, 3 then his or her final score is 6.6 (33 X 0.2).
  3. The total score for the first column (people) is plotted on the vertical axis in the matrix section, while the total score for the second column (Task) is plotted on the horizontal axis. For an example, see Example.
  4. Finally, have the learners intersect the lines to see in what leadership dimension they normally operate out of:
    • Boss
    • Bankrupt
    • Leader
    • Friend


    Below is a list of statements about leadership behavior. Read each one carefully, then using the following scale, decide the extent to which it actually applies to you. For best results, answer as truthfully as possible.
    never          sometimes          always
      0      1     2       3     4       5 

    1. _______ I encourage my team to participate when it comes decision making time and I try to implement their ideas and suggestions whenever possible.

    2. _______ Nothing is more important than accomplishing a goal or task.

    3. _______ I closely monitor the schedule to ensure a task or project will be completed in time.

    4. _______ I enjoy coaching people on new tasks and procedures.

    5. _______ The more challenging a task is, the more I enjoy it.

    6. _______ I encourage my employees to be creative about their job.

    7. _______ When seeing a complex task to completion, I ensure that every detail is accounted for.

    8. _______ I find it easy to carry out several complicated tasks at the same time.

    9. _______ I enjoy reading articles, books, and journals about training, leadership, and psychology; and then putting what I have read into action.

    10. _______ When correcting mistakes, I do not worry about jeopardizing relationships.

    11. _______ I manage my time very efficiently.

    12. _______ I enjoy explaining the intricacies and details of a complex task or project to my employees.

    13. _______ Breaking large projects into small manageable tasks is second nature to me.

    14. _______ Nothing is more important than building a great team.

    15. _______ I enjoy analyzing problems.

    16. _______ I honor other people's boundaries.

    17. _______ Counseling my employees to improve their performance or behavior is second-nature to me.

    18. _______ I enjoy reading articles, books, and trade journals about my profession; and then implementing the new procedures I have learned.


    After completing the questioner, transfer your answers to the spaces below: People











    TOTAL ________

    X 0.2 = ________ 
    (multiple the Total by 0.2 to get your final score)












    TOTAL ________

    X 0.2 ________ 
    (multiple the Total by 0.2 to get your final score)


    Plot your final scores on the graph below by drawing a horizontal line from the approximate people score (vertical axis) to the right of the matrix, and drawing a vertical line from the approximate task score on the horizontal axis to the top of the matrix. Then, draw two lines from each dot until they intersect. The area of intersection is the leadership dimension that you operate out of (an example is given below).


    The sample below shows a score of 4 in the people section and a score of 6 in the task section. The quad where the two lines intersect is the leadership style, in this case -- Boss section.

    The Results

    This chart will give you an idea of your leadership style. But, like any other instrument that attempts to profile a person, you have to take in other factors, such as, how does your manager and employees rate you as a leader, do you get your job done, do you take care of your employees, are you GROWING your organization, etc.

    You should review the statements in the survey and reflect on the low scores by asking yourself, "If I scored higher in that area, would I be a more effective leader?" And if the answer is yes, then it should become a personal action item.

    Some have asked, "In order to get a perfect score I would have to score a maximum in both statements 2 (Nothing is more important than accomplishing a goal or task) and 14 (Nothing is more important than building a great team), but this would be a paradox.

    One of the mottos of the U.S. Army is "People and mission first." That is, nothing is more important than accomplishing the mission and looking out for the welfare of the people. A good leader can do both!

    Relationships With Others

    For statement 10 - "When correcting mistakes, I do not worry about jeopardizing relationships," some people believe that a "people-person" would put a low score to this question. That is, they might believe that a people-oriented person would not want to jeopardize the relationship.

    But, if a leader really cares about the person, would the relationship (being friends) be more important or would guiding the person on to the correct behavior be more important? Lets put it in a "leader-teacher" relationship - If you did not correct the person's mistakes, would that make you a better teacher? Probably not. Good leaders do what it takes to build and develop the people around them. The "relationship" is not what makes them tick...guiding others onto greatness is what a leader is all about.

    This question helps to separate friend type leaders who want to be best friends with everyone; bankrupt leaders who are afraid they might make waves; and the real leaders who are more concerned with coaching others so that they benefit the team. That is, if a leader lets a peer continue with the incorrect behavior; then does this help or hinder the other members of the team? It is best not to picture a "people" type leader as a friend, but as a person who is concerned with the growth and welfare of others.

    Instead of presenting a manager with a dilemma of choosing one or the other alternative, it shows how a leader can simultaneously maximize both production oriented methods and those that are people orientated.