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The theory was first introduced as “Life Cycle Theory of Leadership”. During the mid-1970s, “Life Cycle Theory of Leadership” was renamed “Situational Leadership Model. Hersey – Situational Leadership Model and Blanchard et al. The fundamental underpinning of the Situational Leadership Model is that there is no single “best” style of leadership. Effective leadership varies, not only with the person or group that is being influenced, but it also depends on the task, job or function that needs to be accomplished. Hersey and Blanchard characterized leadership style in terms of the amount of Task Behavior and Relationship Behavior that the leader provides to their followers. The leader stays involved to monitor progress.

Of these, no one style is considered optimal for all leaders to use all the time. Effective leaders need to be flexible, and must adapt themselves according to the situation. The right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led. They lack the specific skills required for the job in hand and are unable and unwilling to take responsibility for this job or task.