Hot! Adair’s Action-Centered Leadership Model For Project Managers

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LeadershipJohn Adair is well known and respected across the world of leadership. The Adair model centers around the premise that that an action-centered leader will get the job done by solid team work and building relationships with those concerned in delivering a project.

The key activities, according to Adair, that an action centered leader must do are:

  • Structure the tasks for the project: in other words, direct the job that needs to be done
  • Structure the resources: support and review the individual team members who will carry out the tasks
  • Structure the team: co-ordinate and encourage the team to work as a whole

In his description of action centered leadership, Adair uses a diagram with three circles, corresponding to the key activities above, each representing:

  • Task
  • Team
  • Individual

The diagram is designed to be useful tool to help managers and leaders to think about what makes an effective leader or manager, considering the job or the project in hand.  An effective  project manager will carry out the functions and will demonstrate the behaviours shown by the three interlinked circles.

Situational and contingent elements call for different responses by the leader. Hence, imagine that the various circles may be bigger or smaller as the situation varies i.e. the leader will give more or less emphasis to the functionally-oriented behaviors according to what the actual situation involves. The challenge for the leader is to manage all sectors of the diagram:

Task:

  • define the task
  • build the plan
  • allocate the project work to resources
  • control the quality the progress of the project work
  • check project performance against the plan
  • amend the plan

Team

  • maintain discipline
  • build team spirit to encourage collaborative working
  • encourage & motivate team members and give them a sense of purpose
  • appoint sub-leaders within the team
  • ensure strong communications amongst the team
  • develop the team’s skills

Individual

  • tackle individual’s personal problems
  • be generous with praise for individuals
  • give status updates
  • identify and make use of each individual’s abilities
  • develop the individual

In today’s technological society, project managers have a number of online tools now available to help them to work collaboratively with their teams and ensure all are kept up to date and involved in the project as it progresses.  These tools include 5pm, Wrike and ComindWork, all of which are worth a look!

Author

Jan Birley

Jan holds a PhD in computing and started out in software development and IT training. She built a strong career as a project and program manager focusing on IT in the Health Service sector. Jan specializes in taking greenfield and immature services/departments to effective business-as-usual operation and is currently responsible for the delivery of clinical assessment forms into a high profile clinical system. Jan has authored 100′s of articles on project-management related topics.

3 Comments

  1. Jan holds a PhD in computing and started out in software development and IT training. She built a strong career as a project and program manager focusing on IT in the Health Service sector. Jan specializes in taking greenfield and immature services/departments to effective business-as-usual operation and is currently responsible for the delivery of clinical assessment forms into a high profile clinical system. Jan has authored 100′s of articles on project-management related topics.

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