The Chameleon Leader: An Innovative Approach to Situational Leadership
Date : 07 January 2019
Time : 05 : 00 PM EST
Duration : 60 Minutes

Dr. Julio Birman was educated in Argentina and the United States. He has been a post-secondary educator since 1990 and a Higher Educational Administrator since 2012. His professional experience includes language and cross-cultural business training, as well as Marketing, Creative Services, and Educational Management. Dr. Birman holds degrees in English, Digital Media, Communications, Adult Education, and Educational Leadership. Over the years, he has made significant contributions to various international educational institutions, non-profit organizations, small to medium size businesses, and Fortune500 corporations.

The Chameleon leadership concept evolved from the premise that decision-making and conflict resolution are efficiently approached when the leader successfully combines two or more leadership styles. In essence, some leadership styles may be successfully combined to produce the most effective results when resolving situations of conflict. Blanchard in his compendium of Situational Leadership argued that the situation, rather than the dominant style of the leader, should take precedence when defining a roadmap to address conflict because a leader who is well aware of what circumstances surround the problem can be better positioned to adapt his or her leadership style to satisfy the needs of the problem. Supporters of this school of thought believe that a multiple-approach scenario provides the leader with more options and a better outlook on the problem. When a leader is able to self-assess his or her dominant style and incorporate the necessary traits of a secondary leadership style, then the conflict may be addressed based on the situational precedence, rather than a linear isolated approach fitting all possible outcomes. Furthermore, leaders who approach conflict from a single style often overlook a wide range of alternative avenues to solve a particular problem and tend to make far more mistakes than those who contemplate different, alternative, perspectives. Critical thinking skills also play a significant part in the decision-making process as leaders contemplate the most appropriate decision for the right situation. The construct of the study of leadership centers on the motivations behind the approach to decision-making and rarely on understanding how leaders choose specific leadership styles.

Situational leadership begins with the premise that alternating between leadership styles depending on the situation produces more effective results than simply trusting a single leadership model to approach numerous difficult circumstances (Blanchard, 2011). Hersey and Blanchard formulated the Life-Cycle theory of leadership during the 1970s with similar principles of leadership effectiveness based on the ability to switch leadership styles in order to adapt to the circumstances of the tasks or issues at hand (Hersey & Blanchard, 2014). Situational leaders possess the intuitive ability of adapting their single leadership style to the circumstances of the problem they intend to solve, or are able to combine two or more styles in a single leadership environment thus placing the scope of the project into balance with the task requirements and the people-management needs (Hersey,  Blanchard, & Natemeyer, 2009).

Situational leaders often shift from unidirectional styles such as the autocratic, transactional, and task-oriented into more team-oriented leadership models like the democratic, transformational, and servant styles. In a true situational model, leadership itself is evolving from an individualist concept of one leader and his or her group to a more communal perception of the leader as part of the group, as a member at the same level within the organizational structure. At the subconscious level, a slow-moving transition from the identification of leadership as one leader equals one style to the acceptance of the ability of leaders to switch between styles as the situation, intuition, and conditions of the task at hand required. The characterizations of leadership suggest that historically the concept of leadership itself evolved and continues to evolve to reflect the needs and realities of modern times, as well as the needs of educational and corporate environments.

In conclusion, leadership effectiveness derives from the ability of leaders to interpret and understand their leadership styles and limitations. While these styles possess distinctive traits of their own, the potential benefits of combining two or more styles when addressing situations of conflict emerged as the primary construct of today’s chameleon leadership concept.

Learning Objectives

  • Brief introduction/summary of leadership styles
  • Common challenges of organizational leadership
  • Adaptability and transformative leadership
  • The case for Situational leadership
  • Decision-making and conflict resolution
  • The Chameleon model: Leadership and diversity
  • Where do we go from here?

Who Should Attend   

Middle to senior managers, administrators, and executives

Topic Background

Today’s complex business environments require adaptable leaders who can demonstrate the ability to harness and control multiple leadership styles. The Chameleon Leadership concept explores effective ways in which one may adapt to the circumstances and blend an array of styles to fit the proper scenario or situation at hand.

Why Should Attend

Is your organization stuck in a circular pattern where problem resolution is always met by the one-size-fits-all approach? How do you get your leadership team to break away from the monotonous Autocratic vs. Transformational leadership debate? This interactive presentation will help you break free from traditional thinking and embrace an alternative approach to leadership and conflict resolution. You’ll leave this session with practical tips on how to respond and adapt your leadership style to the specific needs of the situation, rather than just reacting to it.

  • $149.00