‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’
It’s fair to say we all like new things every now and again, whether it’s a new house, car or even simply a new piece of clothing – that’s human nature right and in truth there’s nothing wrong with that.
However it’s interesting that we are constantly being asked by prospective clients for something new innovative and different: “what’s the latest model out there?” “Is this approach ahead of the game?” It’s an odd thing really and for us never really makes sense.
We suppose this whole situation was highlighted to us recently when we attended a ‘networking’ event. We got chatting to various people, (as you should at a network event, it’s kind of the point), but two people in particular stuck in our memory.
One of them was talking about a great development programme they had recently attended and how much they had taken away from it. Naturally, because of what we do for a living we got a little nosey and started asking lots of questions about the content of the programme and why it had been so good. Funnily enough one of the tools he mentioned that had really impacted on him in a positive way was Blanchard’s Situational Leadership II (SLII). He talked about how it had made him step back and realise that he had not been giving his people what they needed, and he had unintentionally set them up to fail. It was a real lightbulb moment for him.
Now for those of you, who know us well, you’ll know this is one of what we call the fundamental leadership tools and we can’t emphasize enough how powerful a tool it can be. In short it’s fair to say – we’re fans of SLII! However another person standing with us, who to this point hadn’t said anything clearly did not share our mutual love, as he simply curled up his lip and interjected: ‘oh – Situational Leadership isn’t that a bit outdated these days, surely they could have found something more modern and forward thinking to include’.
We were shocked! But we decided to probe a little deeper to understand where he was coming from. Turned out he just felt that because it had originated in the 80’s, it was time to move on to something new or something that had been created more recently.
It was a fascinating encounter. However, we came to the conclusion that surely how old a leadership tool is has no bearing on whether it still works. Yes it still needs to be relevant to the modern workplace, and for us, there’s a reason Situational Leadership II is still being used more than 30 years after its original conception. As the gentleman who originally mentioned it at our networking event and the countless clients we have trained to use it prove, it can still transform how people develop others and ensure as leaders they give their people what they need when they need it. In fact in our humble opinion it’s still the best tool out there which helps leaders do exactly that.
We firmly believe it doesn’t matter how new and shiny a tool is or how long it may have been around, what really matters is does it solve your issue, is it useable and does it support what you’re trying to achieve. It that old adage – if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!
Until the next time