Action Centered Leadership™

Balancing Task, Team, and Individual Focus

Pay attention to all three elements.

© iStockphoto/peepo

Imagine you've recently started a new job as a team leader.

At first, you're completely overwhelmed with all there is to do.

You've got to get to grips with the group's objectives, assign tasks, keep everyone motivated, and adhere to a strict schedule.

And that feels like just the tip of the iceberg!

You also know that, under your predecessor, several of the team were struggling, so you devote a lot of your time to coaching these individuals.

This seems to be working well, with the team members concerned growing in confidence as a result of your hard work. But after a few weeks, your start to realize that things are going badly wrong in other areas.

The group isn't working cohesively as a whole, and an unpleasant blame culture has sprung up amongst several team members. And an important deadline is missed. You've been so busy coaching people that you didn't see these things till it was too late.

Managing a team is very much like juggling several balls at once. Drop one ball, and it spoils the whole pattern.

Unfortunately, this is an easy mistake for managers to make, as they spend too much time on one responsibility at the expense of others that are just as important. This is where a management model like Action Centered Leadership™ helps you monitor the balance between the key areas for which you're responsible, helping you avoid dropping any balls along the way.

In this article we'll look at what Action Centered Leadership is, and we'll explore how you can use it with your team.

Action Centered Leadership

Action Centered Leadership (sometimes known as ACL) is a model that was first published in 1973 by leadership expert, John Adair.

It's so-called because it highlights the key actions that leaders have to take when managing their teams. And it's particularly helpful because it groups these responsibilities together under three key areas:

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