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Leadership Models, Part 2: Managerial Grid


We continue with the Managerial Grid in our Leadership Models. Part 1 was treated where we looked at the Four Framework Approach [as model 1]. Now we want to look at the Managerial Grid [as model 2].

Leadership Models 2

Managerial Grid

This is also known as Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid in honour of the men who researched and established in the right perspective what we see and experience. Blake and Mouton in 1985 discovered that all leaders are in one grid or the other. They plotted a graph of the X and Y axes with Task and People as X and Y respectively. Even if you invert Task and People as Y and X, you get the same things. But let us use these two axes:

  1. The “Concern for people” is plotted using the vertical axis, [Y-axis]
  2. The “Concern for task” is along the horizontal axis, [X-axis].

The duo both have a range of o to 9. The notion that just two dimensions can describe managerial behaviour in a grid has the attraction of simplicity especially in understanding. These two dimensions can be drawn as a graph or grid [I draw it in my LIVE seminar or have its PowerPoint. Sorry, WhatsApp doesn’t permit it! Don’t worry, I will distill it into letters.].               

Most people fall somewhere near the middle of the two axes. But, by going to the extremes, that is, people who score on the far end of the scale, 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 on task, low on relationship)

People who get this rating are very task-oriented leaders 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. Please, did you see yourself or someone else in these characteristics? If yes, such is an autocratic leader – he/she likes tasks more than people. Too bad.

Team Leader (high on task, high on relationship)

This type of leader leads by positive example and endeavours 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 on task, high on relationship)

This leader 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 to get the task done. They use too much enjoyment, or gift to bribe the people and don’t mind if the work suffers. This inability results from fear that using such powers could jeopardize relationships with the other team members. Such leaders want to answer good names from the workforce/team by all means.

Impoverished Leader (low on task, low on relationship)

This is 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. Are thinking of some leaders: in your workplace, group, church, state, or nation?

Most Desirable. Other Desirables.

The most desirable place for a leader to be along the two axes at most times would be a 9 on task and a 9 on people i.e. the Team Leader. However, do not entirely dismiss the other three. They have their contingency usefulness. 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. By being an Authoritarian Leader, you 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 to achieve the desired result.

The End.

Mike Ihezuo has been at the cutting edge of helping leaders and organizations succeed and achieve goals maximally. He can help you and yours profoundly. Kindly reach him at 081-8282-4949, 080-6232-8080, email, or Contact Us.

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Dr Mike Ihezuo

Content Creator

Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…


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