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Leadership Essay, Research Paper


There are many ways that one can lead others. The theory of Situational Leadership explains the many different approaches that can be taken to be an effective leader. The different styles depends on the situation, which gives it its name, however, some leaders us a high-risk method and low relationship method, some leaders use low risk method and high relationship method while others may us equal risk and relationship method. These different methods are used when certain situations occur, for example in the beginning of the movie Hoosiers coach Dale has to use high risk and low relationship method to coach the team. The reason why he choose this method is because the team lacked the basic skills and he had to take a risk and change their practice style and get them to learn the basic shill, however, to do this he has to practice low relationship to teach them the necessary skills to be a competing basketball team.

In the movie, coach Dale is hired as a new high school basketball coach in a small town in Indiana where the town does not like him from the very beginning. This small town is a town that doesn?t like change very much, for 20 years the basketball team has been playing zone defense, Coach Dale wants to play a man-to-man defense, the townies don?t respond very well to this change. The town leaders arranged a conference with Coach Dale in the beginning of the movie, here the town leaders question and told him that he must get a very unmotivated kid to play in order to be a contender. In the middle of all the questions Coach Dale ends the conference by walking out, he wants to lead the team by himself. In this situation Coach Dale practiced a high risk/low relationship method. He tried to let the town leaders that he wants to lead the team by himself.

At the fist practice Coach Dale uses High risk/low relationship again. He told the acting coach to leave his practice and he also changed their practice schedule. He tells his players that his practices aren?t designed for fun, and that they are in his army. He leads them by fear. In the beginning the players fear him and they have absolutely no relationship. He intimidates the players by kicking two players off the team in the beginning of the first practice. This is again, high task, which is needed to develop a winning basketball team and low relationship.

In the conference in the beginning of the movie with the town leaders, they inform Coach Dale that there is a player, named Jimmy that is not on the team but is an excellent player. When coach Dale talks to him he uses reverse psychology, he tells Jimmy that he doesn?t care if he is on the team. Here again he illustrates high task and low relationship leadership. Jimmy is a very important player to the team because he has the most skills.

In the first game Coach Dale makes a rule that they must make four passes before they can shoot. They do this for a while and they are losing so Jimmy starts to shoot the ball every time he gets it. Granted he made every single shot and tied up the game from a huge deficit, Coach Dale pulls Jimmy out of the game. He is enforcing his rule of the four passes then shoot rule. He shows here that he is not kidding around and is not going to play favorites. This is high risk and low relationship once again. He uses an autocratic form of leadership. He shows this when he says, ?My word is the law.?

The first time that Coach Dale starts to change the way he coaches the team is in the town meeting. He presents himself very independently and tells the town that he is very proud of the team. This is the first time he uses high relationship.

Coach Dale believes that the high risk/low relationship method worked so well that he got intentionally kicked out of the game so prove to the players that they now have the skills to win a game and do it by themselves. Task was lowered here and the relationship was raised even higher than before.

At the end of the movie the team made it to the state championship game. In the locker room Coach Dale didn?t give one of his usual speeches, he just talked to them like a friend, not a coach. He used low relationship/low task here. For the first time in the whole season he allowed the players to make a decision, they actually changed one of his decisions and he allowed it. He allowed the players decide who would take the last shot to win the game. He went with the change because he knew that they had the confidence to do the right thing. He used low risk/high relationship at the end of the game and the end of the season.

The different types of situational leadership styles are very important. Which one to use all depends on whom you have to lead. The in beginning Coach Dale used high risk/low relationship. He had to do this because the players didn?t have any basic skills. At the end they did have the skills therefore he used low risk/high relationship. Not every method works with everyone, therefore leaders have to evaluate the situation and use the best method.

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