Leadership Theory and Process
Social work often brings the responsibility of leadership in order to resolve issues and find competent solutions. In the Capstone Project, a non-profit organization was examined. The Indian Creek Foundation supports people with mental disabilities. The main issue is that the organization is operating on a dysfunctional, outdated operation plan which does not prioritize current programs. A new strategic plan is necessary to balance the foundation’s mission of social change and enhancing client experience with fiscal and managerial responsibilities. Leadership implies being aware of the inter-organizational structure and operation so that potential can be harvested to make the necessary changes, thus enhancing the foundation’s ability to practice its mission.
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One responsibility in organizational practice is developing leadership. A growing organization should have multiple and effective opportunities for its members to manage. An institution with a diverse and determined group of leaders can establish itself as a force for social change in a community (Homan, 2016). The most fitting leadership theory in this situation is the Full Range Leadership Model developed by Bass and Avolio in 1994.
This theory can strengthen the management capacity of a non-profit organization while using transformational leadership to promote and implement the main mission. However, the challenge to consider is that public management is difficult because humans make choices that are irrational and confound any analytical designs without any direct cause-effect relationship. Therefore, in any leadership management or public administration, the approach should be contextual and diverse rather than based on a technicality (Yang & Miller, 2008).
The Full Range Leadership model consists of a spectrum evaluating possible management techniques that a leader can utilize. Transactional leadership such as laissez-faire and management by exception techniques are passive and inefficient. Meanwhile, transformational behaviors such as intellectual stimulation and idealized influence are examples of active and efficient management. The concept of Contingent Reward is present in this model which establishes a means of reward for fulfilling and exceeding performance goals. The transformational types of leadership all result in increased productivity, higher morale, and flexible organizational adaptability (Salter & Cummins-Brown, 2007).
A social worker is not considered a manager figure by many. However, various duties such as staff management, meeting attendance, business plan evaluation, and organizational guidance are essential to leadership. To restructure an organization such as the Indian Creek Foundation and create synergy amongst its staff and management requires active and efficient leadership. Transformational leadership described by the model gives tools to build community relations and foster social change. Leaders can motivate, stimulate, and empower members of the organization towards new possibilities of achievement (Perumal, 2015).
To reform the Indian Creek Foundation, a leader will find it best to use intellectual stimulation and idealized influence leadership. Intellectual stimulation celebrates rational thought and challenges the established norms by seeking different perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. By looking at the feedback of what failed in the foundation’s outdated plan, one can stipulate innovative solutions balancing high-quality care with optimal fiscal responsibility.
Meanwhile, idealized influence strongly increases staff motivation and the foundation’s focus on its mission. This aspect of leadership is crucial to gain trust and respect within an organization. By placing oneself equal to his followers, a manager leads by example and by understanding the common values, can amplify them through organizational policies. A social worker should understand that their position within an organization gives much influence to make positive changes and improve its inner workings through effective leadership methodology.
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The key reason behind the implementation of servant leadership is its versatility. From the assignment commentary provided by Parrish, I was able to understand that this type of leadership can be utilized effectively in a diverse workplace. Moreover, it is safe to say that we cannot replace servant leadership with its autocratic counterpart for the reason that the latter may have a negative impact on the organization (for example, it may trigger estrangement among workers).
On a bigger scale, Parrish’s comment serves as proof of the fact that servant leadership can be beneficial to all the members of the team. Within the framework of the company that Parrish chose, servant leadership can become an effective instrument because it maintains collaborative cohesiveness and ensures that personalized management practices are in place. I would also recommend focusing on improving the level of involvement as servant leadership is recurrently used by knowledgeable leaders to maintain performance and get employees involved in the decision-making process.
Throughout her presentation, Karen dwelled on the benefits of transformational leadership in the non-profit sector. I fully support her opinion and would like to single out the fact that she seems to be the most important to me. Within any given framework, the underlying objective of a transformational leader is to elicit the best version of their employees by means of motivation and rewards. Therefore, a proper retention strategy is one of the crucial aspects of transformational leadership. Within such an environment, the leader should be a personification of inspiration and find ways to make the job for each of their employees easier.
The area of transformational leadership that still has to be investigated is the elaboration of employees’ career development plans. Karen also successfully exhibited the link between the leader and their followers in terms of retention rates.
Homan, M. S. (2016). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage. Web.
Perumal, N. (2015). We continue to “manage”: A transformational leadership perspective on social work management in the NPO sector in South Africa? International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice, 3(2), 63–70. Web.
Salter, C., & Cummins-Brown, L. (2007). Full range leadership. Web.
Yang, K., & Miller, G. (2008). Handbook of research methods in public administration. Web.