Human Service Professionals Leadership Styles
Leaders have very different qualities and also personalities, like many of us as individuals do today. My purpose for writing this paper is so that may examine the different styles of leaders and the qualities a good leader should have in the human service profession. I will identify the four leadership styles of decision makers in our text that include: the climber, zealots, statesperson and lastly the advocate. I will compare the transactional and transformational leaders to get a better understanding of the qualities and also differences. I will also display the importance of leaders to their teams for functionality. The positive efforts made by a leader and its team members can have a great impact on an agency and also the community in general.
Leadership Styles in the Human Service Profession
For generations now leaders have had their focus on getting the best performance out of their employees to better the business. Some have succeeded and then again some have failed. Most successful leaders have shared their qualities, but it seems that all are very independent of each other. The style of a military sergeant would not be the same as the style of a human service leader. Harry Truman said “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/great-leaders-in-history.html) On the opposite side of the spectrum of leadership Mahatma Gandhi led a nation to freedom in a non-threatening way. No matter what your style or charisma is no one can deny the impact our leaders have on us.
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The climber is one of the four leadership styles of decision makers as stated in our text. The climber is considered to be narcissistic and “very concerned about themselves and their own career moves. They tend to interpret any bright ideas on their subordinates’ part as threatening to their own status.” (p. 200).
This is a very powerful statement to me. Most of us have probably seen this type of leader before. They usually are the types that want to pad their resume and are worried about benefiting themselves not the agency or team. When delegating assignments they might take credit for work that wasn’t theirs or that they did not take part in. A good leader is one who delegates within their agency and gives support and also praise when the job is completed well. Leaders who do not want to delegate tend to be workaholics and have little trust in their workers.
Zealots a little like the climber in the way that they too think very highly of themselves, but not as likely to take be the one to take credit for other workers work. Zealots command faithful followership by their subordinates. Unlike both the climber and the zealot the statesperson is concerned with the entire community rather than themselves or the organization they are working for. They are very good at building relationships and also influencing their workers, but they tend to lose interest fast.
The advocate understands the importance of delegating and handing out responsibilities to the worker. “This leader is soft-hearted and also confident. This is the reason why he has loyal followers.” (http://www.viloria.com/niche/personal-development/Leadership_Styles.php) The advocate is an extremely committed leader within the agency he works for. They are good mediators and usually have their hands on the pulse of the organization. I believe that advocates do make the best leaders within the human service organization because they have all the qualities that good leaders are made up of and also have an interest in the organization as a whole.
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In transactional leadership styles leaders should have the power to emphasize standards to control their workers. They utilize discipline and also rewards to get accomplishments out of their team other members. When delegation is involved the team member is responsible for all the work without any supervision. Team members are held accountable for failure through discipline and are rewarded for meeting or exceeding that leader’s expectations.
Transformational leaders know how to motivate their workers using different proactive styles. They “create learning opportunities for their followers and stimulate followers to solve problems.” (http://leadershipchamps.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/transactional-leadership-vs-transformational-leadership/) They lead not only for their own career gains, but also for the good of their team and agency in general. Transformational leaders are usually charismatic, but not narcissists like the climber. On the downside transformational leaders are often seen as trustworthy because the confidence and passion that shines through them. Important to note transformational leader’s sole duty is to transform an organization. So if an organization requires no change then the leader will become discouraged.
All good leaders should have basic qualities to be an effective leader. Communication is one of the most important qualities that any leader should possess. Although listening and speaking skills are also a very important part of communication a good communicator must also be able to verbalize in all written areas as well. “Too often, great ideas are not acted upon because they were not articulated with sufficient clarity or were simply not feasible in a given situation.” (p. 83) Confusion can occur if there is not clear communication and description from the leader.
... company. TEAM LEADERSHIP AND EVALUATIONS In order to develop a great team, the team must ... many organizations as they begin to shift toward team environments. As organizations shift towards team environments ... cultural barriers and become an effective leader. Leadership should follow the five dimensions which ... enforce company culture through positive change. Team members should develop a vision and ...
A good leader is able to recognize when change is needed in the agency. This is a characteristic leaders must have to guide their team in a specific direction. A leader who wants to inspire change within an organization has to set realistic objectives and also reward team members who eliminate obstacles that get in that way of change. It is the leader’s job to communicate his change to the team members and also conduct experiments with small changes before initiating that transformation. Lastly on the subject of change it is important for leaders to set the example by inspiring change.
“Use of self involves at least three skills: self-awareness, self-disclosure, and purposefulness.” (p. 84).
It is an important duty for a leader to monitor their level of motivation and management style to see what kind of impact it has on the team members. If leaders constantly reflect on themselves they can better personally, decision wise and for the organization. Making sure that you disclose pertinent information to your team lessons eliminates any confusion in the direction you are going in. When leaders engage the team directly and indirectly it shows a sense of confidence in their work efforts.
Managing conflict is one of many leadership skills. Good leaders know how to defuse a situation before it gets out of hand. Anyone who is or was a part of a large group is no stranger to conflict. A leader has to address conflict throughout their professional life. Setting ground rules for your agency and also with the team members is one way to help diminish some conflict. Stress in itself is known to lead to conflict. Leaders have to be self-aware to understand what motivates others to conflict. Good problem solving skills can help, but mediation from the leader may be warranted in some conflict situations.
Having the ability to empower other is a very desirable quality in leaders today. Empowering should be for all team members and no special treatment should be made for select few. “Feminist theories emphasize that power should be distributed and equalized to whatever the extent possible within an organization.” (p. 124).
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A leader should understand that they have the ability to build future leaders by their actions and decisions. They do this through mentoring, delegating, inspiring, motivating and sharing their talents with the organization.
Successful leaders not only have solutions for problems, but devote their time and efforts to teams, organizations as well as the whole community. They think outside the box, give credit when it’s due and make necessary changes when they feel it is needed. Leaders can challenge employees to do their finest. They share the limelight and give guidance and direct. There are many types of leaders as you can see. The first leaders we see are our parents and teachers who also have an enormous impact on children’s lives. The importance of leaders is never ending as you can see. Leaders can inspire a person, society and even a nation. Our future depends on the greatness in leaders.
General Practice with Organizations and Communities, Fourth Edition. (Karen K. Kirst-Ashman and Grafton H. Hull, Jr.)
Transactional Leadership Vs. Transformational Leadership, Babou: http://leadershipchamps.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/transactional-leadership-vs-transformational-leadership/
Great Leaders in History: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/great-leaders-in-history.html
From transactional to transformational Leadership, Bass, B.M. (1990) http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/transformational_leadership.htm