What is John Adair's Action Centred Leadership?

John Adair's action centred leadership model is referenced in many training programmes. Adair says that leaders have 3 core areas of responsibility:

  1. Achieving the task
  2. Building and maintaining the team
  3. Motivating and developing the individuals

In his book 100 Greatest Ideas for Effective Leadership and Management, Adair says, Think 'Task: Team: Individual' at all times

Action Centred Leadership requires that you find the right balance between the task, team and individual.

The Task, Ask:

  • What am I doing that will help my team achieve the tasks effectively, on time and on budget?
  • What do I need to do to ensure that the task is agreed and communicated effectively?
  • What resources are needed to help the team achieve tasks?
  • Who will be responsible for what?
  • How can I ensure that each person knows exactly what is expected of them and to what level of performance?
  • What do I need to do to review and assess progress against the achievement of the tasks and adjust targets and plans as necessary?

The Team, Ask:

  • What can I do to help build and maintain the team?
  • Is the team working well together? How can it work better together?
  • How can I improve communication within the team?
  • How can I ensure that the team is working effectively towards the achievement of the tasks?
  • What do I need to do to ensure that the performance standards are met?
  • What do I need to do to maintain discipline and focus on objectives? What team/group training needs are required?

The Individual, Ask:

  • What do I need to do to motivate and develop my people?
  • What strengths does each person bring?
  • How can they be used and developed?
  • What do I need to do to assist and support individuals?
  • How should I give appropriate recognition and praise to individuals?

Return to top of Action Centred Leadership page
Back to Leadership Theories