Leadership in the Fields of Human Service 


A Page for Leaders in the Field of Human Services

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The pages of history are filled with stories of leaders.  Each story offers lessons for the aspiring and practicing leaders of today. Of course, it is not necessary to be famous, or have your name in the pages of history to be a true leader. Equipped with an understanding that everyone can make a difference in this world, each one of us has the opportunity to advocate for what we believe in, inspire those around us and motivate others to join in our efforts. Regardless of whether you are in an assigned position of authority  or simply strive to have a positive influence on the world around you, learning about the fundamental concepts of leadership will guide you in your efforts.

Servant leadership, is a model of leadership that emphasizes collaboration,  team building, the ethical use of power, empathy and trust over top down management and traditional hierarchical models of leadership.  With the guiding principal of helping others,  this model of leadership focuses on serving others in order to facilitate a team's success.  By providing the tools others require to accomplish their goals facilitating team work and supporting staff, a Servant Leader puts the purpose of the group and needs of the team above their own personal agenda's and needs. Some leaders loose sight of the fact that they are working towards a vision, and instead get lost in their own pursuit of power. The Servant Leader remains grounded in their values and principals, keeping the mission of their team the priority.

Leadership & management are frequently seen as different and many articles attempt to define their separate and distinct attributes. To be successful in creating a vision and seeing it through to a reality, one must possess both skill sets, or at least, if you are a leader, have a skilled manager working with you to ensure  projects and tasks are accomplished. 

A leader is not defined by their position alone. Simply holding a title, does not ensure that you will have followers. And ultimately, with out followers, a leader will never succeed. Empowering others rather then controlling them will increase your effectiveness as a leader. 

While inspiring and bringing out the best in the followers you serve, it remains imperative that groups and organizations have the tools & guidance necessary to head in the direction of a shared vision. You will find that this page includes information on leadership and the more technical and task oriented resources necessary for transforming visions into realities.  If you are considering a leadership position, I would encourage you to evaluate your ability to be an effective follower.  If one is to be a true leader, you must be able to accept responsibility for your own errors, stand up for your beliefs while hearing opposing view points,  emphasize the accomplishments of others and let those around you shine.  If you are  driven to lead, for your own gain, and because you have a need to shine rather then a desire to make a difference, you will not be a successful leader.