Feedback Request – Leadership Exam Question

Paul Naybour


Could I please request some feedback on the following question. Some additional points added in italics

Thank you

State a Definition of Leadership (5 Marks)

There are many definitions of leadership and a wide range of views and opinions however the APM Body of Knowledge defines leadership as “the ability to establish vision and direction, to influence and align others towards a common purpose and to empower and inspire people to achieve success”

State what is meant by the term situational leadership (5 marks)

The term situational leadership is used to reflect a reactive form of leadership, it is used to describe the different management approaches and leadership styles used by a leader when working with different people or in different situations. Hersey and Blanchard’s leadership model is an excellent example of this, identifying four different styles to be used when working with individuals of different levels of ability (or readiness) These styles are: delegate, coach, support and instruct (telling the individual exactly what to do).
List and Describe four ways in which a project manager may adapt their style to suit the circumstances (40 Marks)

Four ways in which a project manager may adapt their style to suit the circumstances are as follows:

1. Project Managers must help maintain and promote the vision and objective of the project, both with the employees engaged in the project but also across the wider organisation and at all levels. When the project initially commences the project manager must motivate all team members and stakeholders sufficiently to ensure buy in to the project goals and deliverables, this will increase the chance of project success. The project manger must then maintain the momentum of this enthusiasm to ensure ongoing support and motivation. So using a clear telling style at the early stages of the project may be appropriate because people just want to understand the purpose of the project.

2. A new or inexperienced employee such as a graduate may require a considerably higher level of support when undertaking assigned project related tasks as whilst they may be eager and committed it is unlikely that they will be familiar with the exact steps required. In this example it would be appropriate for the Project manager to take a more direct instructional leadership style initially, helping them to learn and develop their capabilities. As their experience develops further they will require less direction and so a transition to a mentoring/coaching style with work being delegated and support given only as required will be more effective both for the project and the individual.

3. Effective delegation is an essential skill for a project manager. No project manager is able to complete all of the individual tasks of a project by themselves and as such must delegate to ensure success. Delegation ensures that tasks are completed by the project team members most qualified to do so and will increase the likelihood of project success. This will be especially important as the project progresses. Once the planning is completed and the project moves into the definition stage it will be important the project manager is in a position to delegates responsibility. For example a PM would hope that a design team leader would take on overall responsibility for delivery of a work package.

4. Projects may require the use of external contractors to provide advice or services beyond the skillset of the project team. In this instance a project manager must effectively manage these contractors to ensure delivery. Whilst it is likely that the contractor will require a lower amount of direct support than a project team member owing to the specialised nature of the advice/service they are providing they will instead require a different type of management. In this instance the Hersey and Blanchard leadership style to be used will be Instruct (tell what to do). However whereas with a new member of staff this style would be used as the staff member lack experience to effectively understand their tasks and will likely require a high level of support with an experience external contractor a lower level of support will be required. They will simply be instructed in the required task as coaching/support is not required.

3 thoughts on “Feedback Request – Leadership Exam Question”

  1. Hi. Sorry for the delay it’s been a very busy few weeks. A good answer I would give this 34/50 so a good pass. Paragraph could have done with more detail. I have added some additional points in italics.

    1. I expect the quality of a leader is the willingness to delegates. But for me, the behaviour is more important. Unless you see someone do something how can you know if they have those qualities. You might say that the ability to communicate well is a leadership quality but without seeing the behaviour of communicating to a group of people how can you evidence the quality.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Upcoming Courses

Scroll to Top