Situational Leadership and Follower Readiness as Demonstrated by a Staples, Inc. Executive

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Situational Leadership and Follower Readiness as
Demonstrated by a Staples, Inc. Executive

Abstract
This paper explores the path of Jeanne Lewis, a rising executive at Staples, Inc. in the 90’s. Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson’s (2008) Situational Leadership Model is examined to explain the leadership style applied by Lewis in relation to the follower readiness levels she encountered. The 4 levels of follower readiness and the 4 leadership styles will be explained, and the levels of follower readiness will be matched with the appropriate leadership style according to the Situational Leadership Model. Examples of Lewis’ leadership style will be given that reflect the accuracy of the model.

Situational Leadership and Follower Readiness as
Demonstrated by a Staples, Inc. Executive
Follower readiness as it relates to Situational Leadership is defined by Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson as “the extent to which a follower demonstrates the ability and willingness to accomplish a specific task” (2008, p. 135). Ability is the amount of knowledge, skill, and experience one can apply to a task. Willingness is the amount of confidence, commitment, and motivation one has to accomplish a task. That said, follower readiness will have differing levels of ability and willingness depending on what task they are faced with. A person very experienced in a certain task will need much less supervision than one who is new to the situation. Follower readiness is divided into four levels representing differing abilities and willingness toward tasks. The following table describes the levels of follower readiness as described by Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson (2008, p.137). LevelCombinationDescription

R1Unable and UnwillingFollower is unable and lacks confidence, commitment, or motivation. R2Unable but WillingFollower is unable but is confident or motivated as long as the leader is present. R3Able but UnwillingFollower is able but is insecure or unwilling to do the task...
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