Mentoring New Small-Group Leaders on your TEAM

Using situational leadership with your apprentice.

As a child, I remember playing pick-up games with other friends at a local basketball court during the summer. Kids would come from all over the neighborhood to play. Every kid’s goal was to be a part of a good team, a winning team. These teams became the envy of other teams and players. The better team you got on, the better you became as a player. A common phrase heard on that playground was, "Can I play on your team?" I learned from an early age that people love to be on teams. Whether it is a sport, a company project, or small groups, people enjoy the camaraderie that comes from being a part of a team.

As I have written before in other articles for, I believe the best way to develop a new small group leader is through an aggressive apprenticeship model. I have found the best way to utilize such a model is by developing the leadership for every small group into teams. The benefits of team leadership are many, but can be summed up in the common acrostic:


One of the most effective mentoring/coaching models that has helped me in mentoring team members is a model developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey many years ago called "Situational Leadership." It is a model that is primarily determined by the needs of the mentoree. Two principles that undergird the use of this model are:

Assessing: Assess the needs of the trainee in two key areas:
Ability: the skill & understanding to perform a task
Motivation: the desire & confidence to accomplish a task
Adjusting: The mentor adjusts his/her training to match the needs of the mentoree.

There are four basic stages at which the mentoree may be. These are determined by their ability and motivation. They are:

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