Leadership in Human Service Organizations Class 9 August 3, 2010

Leadership in Human Service
Class 9
August 3, 2010
What makes a good leader?
• Think of a person you know to be an excellent
leader (either personally or from afar; living
today or someone in the past).
• What are the 10 qualities that make you think
highly of that person’s leadership?
• Consider a specific incident in which you
thought that person evidenced exceptional
leadership skills. Which of the 10 qualities
were most important. Why?
What is Leadership?
A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
“Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you”;
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim is fulfilled,
They will all say, “We did this ourselves.”
-Lao-tzu, circa 600 BC
What is leadership?
• Traditional top-down; command and control
leadership does not encourage risk and
• Future leadership will be something everyone
throughout our organizations and society will
be involved in from time-to-time
• Not just about doing things right, but about
doing the right things
Dynamic Interaction
Managers, Staff, Situations
• Leadership styles:
– Directive: takes personal responsibility for major
– Participative: present ideas and invite feedback
from staff
– Delegative: derive satisfaction from giving decisin
making responsibilities to staff
Dynamic Interaction: staff
• Factors operating within staff can influence
decision making style
• Staff are experienced, motivated to make
decisions, identify with agency goals, manage
unstructured work and work independently leads
to a delegative approach
• Staff are inexperienced, reluctant to take on
responsibilities, require structure, resist making
decisions may require a more directive
management style
Dynamic Interaction: situations
• Values, habits, and traditions of organization
• Organization size and structure
• Organization’s location
• Types of problems that organization targets
• Time pressure and deadlines
Exercise flexible leadership and combine
Leadership Competencies
• Effective managers have an outstanding ability
to get things done by:
1. Articulating a future orientation
2. Being a social entrepreneur
3. Treating staff with dignity
4. Communicating significant messages
5. Engendering trust
6. Inspiring top-level performance
Leadership Attributes
• Emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1998)
1. self-awareness
2. Self-regulation
3. Motivation
4. Empathy
5. Social skills
Transformational Leadership
in Public Service Agencies
• Managers in public/social service have an
obligation to maintain the social values and
integrity of the institution (Terry, 1995)
• Leader’s role is to “conserve” the public
service values that are part of the
organization’s mission
• Need to balance professional expertise,
political skills, and social service values
Leadership in Public Service
• Street Level Leadership (Vinzant & Crothers,
1998) studied 100 public workers
• Front-line leadership in public service agencies
• Social service workers have considerable
discretion in how they act and decisions they
• Exercise leadership in their relationships with
clients and others
• Exercise influence and influenced by and
accountable to others = transformative
Leadership in Public Service
• Skills of shared leadership
• Focuses on clusters of individuals working
together; team leadership
• Leadership that energizes the group or the
• New leadership:
– Helps group understand its potential
– Integrates and articulates the vision of the group
– Acts as a “trigger” or stimulus for group action
Questions for Discussion
• What types of leadership do you see in your
• What are considered the most important
leadership competencies?