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Local consultant encourages leaders to lead people where they are

Four years ago, Katie Wynn decided to create a budget to track her household finances, but she had no idea where to start. Wynn did what anyone else would do: she googled it.

Wynn admits she’s still no budgeting expert, but she knows much more about the topic than she did before.

Wynn, founder, and President of Dynamik Consulting in Augusta used this anecdote to illustrate the Situational Leadership II Model. She discussed this model at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Executive Luncheon Series on Wednesday, March 16 at Savannah Rapids Pavilion.

Situational leadership refers to varying one’s leadership style based on individual employee needs rather than team needs.

“You need to lead people where they are on each task or goal, not where they are in general,” Wynn said.

The model consists of three core leadership principles: goal setting, diagnosing, and matching.

Goal setting means the leader and employee agree on tasks that need to be completed and deadlines for completing those tasks. Rather than setting SMART goals, situational leaders help their employees develop STRAM goals. This acronym stands for Specific, Trackable, Relevant, Attainable, and Motivating.

She said diagnosing sounds like a clinical term. But in this context, it refers to assessing each team member’s competence and commitment to a particular task or goal, which the model calls a development level. For example, new employees are usually eager to learn new skills, but they often lack the competence to perform tasks correctly.

“Your team members are at different developmental levels for each goal or task,” Wynn said.

There are four development levels: enthusiastic beginner, disillusioned learner, capable but cautious contributor, and self-reliant achiever.

Matching refers to customizing one’s leadership style to a team member’s development level for a specific task. The four leadership styles are directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating.

She said as an employee progresses from enthusiastic beginner to self-reliant achiever, the leadership style progresses from directing to delegating.

As for Wynn’s budgeting skills, she said it took her four years to go from an enthusiastic beginner to a disillusioned learner, which is the development level when many think about quitting.

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