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5.2 Task, team, individual

Although John Adair (1979) developed what he terms his action-centred model of leadership independently of Blake and Mouton’s managerial grid, his framework adds an extra dimension to their notion of concern for task and for people. Adair suggests that an effective leader needs to allocate time to

• ensure the task is completed
• keep the group or team working together
• meet the individual needs of each team member

Completing the task

To ensure that tasks are completed effectively and efficiently, Adair says that you have to:

• Specify and agree objectives
• Allocate resources
• Review progress
• Evaluate performance

Meeting the needs of individuals

If you are leading a group of people, Adair suggests that you have to:

• Treat each member as an individual
• Acknowledge different opinions, work-styles and motivation
• Encourage each individual to contribute fully
• Keep individuals informed
• Provide development opportunities according to individual needs

Keeping the team working together

To lead a team well Adair suggests that you have to:

• Ensure key roles are filled by appropriate people
• Build trust and inspire teamwork
• Deal with conflict
• Expand team capabilities
• Facilitate and support team decisions

Adair, J. (1979) Action-Centred Leadership. Farnborough: Gower.