Definition of Leadership
Junior Blind of America is a group that assist both children and adults gain self-sufficiency. It is essential for Junior Blind to have effective leadership so they may be able to achieve these goals (Juniorblind.org). Packard uses Northouse’s definition of leadership that it is “a process which an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve common goals” (Packard, 2009 p144). This means that a leader uses a tactic that he or she feels will best encourage maximum effort and results from their employees. In this case, help those without sight live full lives.
The first thing a leader that decides to use visionary leadership needs to do is clearly define the vision. It must be something desirable and also something that everyone involved feels is possible. It is also important to gather employees’ aspirations and make sure they are inline with the overall picture (Packard 2009). At Junior Blind, the vision is clear, that the organization wants to help people with blindness get more out of their lives. The employees need to share this vision for them to be successful
A strategic leader is someone that plans but also is one that is able to adapt. There is more of an emphasis of following a path. There is also an emphasis on putting those plan into action. Every decision is made with the desired outcome in mind (Packard, 2009). At Junior Blind it is important to make plans and carry them out. But the needs of their clients will change as technology and society changes. So it is essential to remain flexible.
Organizations may have a period of change, which leaders must help in the transition. Schein suggests that leaders pay attention to how they react when a problem arises, how they utilize their assets, how they train, how they recognize progress and how they reach out to new talent (Packard 2009 pg. 155). Leaders provide employees indications of where they should place their focus to help guide them (Packard, 2009). In Junior Blind this would be important, because with so many potential issues it is important to concentrate on the bigger picture. It could be very easy to get caught up in smaller areas, so leadership is critical to provide guidance.
A contingency leader is very flexible. In this style of leadership a leader approaches each problem differently. Within this style is Decision Approach. A leader will look at different factions of a decision before coming to a conclusion. In Path-Goal the leader dictates various responsibilities that will ultimately help reach the desired outcome. Leader-Member Exchange encourages a strong connection between leader and employee. Lastly there is Situational, which means that how the leader will proceed depends on not only the situation but also how the employee reacts (Packard, 2009). In an organization such as Junior Blind of America, flexibility may be necessary. It is easy to get attached to the people you serve and each situation is different. In such an organization it may be hard to have rules that fit all. Leaders who can adapt to any situations would be most desired.
This type of leadership focuses on inspiration. This leadership can help rejuvenate the team. One tactic is to use Intellectual Stimulation that promotes imagination. It is common to use this style when a change in the organization is necessary (Packard, 2009). At Junior Blind, it may be necessary to look at things in a different way. How can the organization make the programs more exciting or how can the organization be more effective in its training style. Individualized Consideration uses ongoing support and training for employees. Leaders converse directly with their employees and are accessible to them. There is more of an emphasis on the goals of the employee and how those goals can be realized. In a Non for Profit setting, it can be uplifting to be able to relate to your leadership. You can ask for guidance and get progress reports. Leadership also is interested in what you want, and will provide you the tools to get it.
It is important to select the right style for your organization. It is about knowing your employees. what works best for them? What you are looking for is how do you inspire the best out of your employees? Knowing your employees is going to help you select the right leadership style.
Leadership methods may vary but all have one thing in common and that is to get the best out of their employees. The best leadership forms a bond with its employees and encourages conversations and growth. Leaders in the human services industry must be particularly aware of how it interacts with its employees, because employees are the lifelines of the organization. For most employees this is a life passion. A good leader will tap into that passion and help the employee and the organization raise to it fullest potential. Without good leadership there would be no direction and organizations would fail in its objectives and ultimately fail the people its serves.
Junior Blind of America. 2014 Retrieved from Juniorblind.org
Packard, Thomas (2009). Leadership and Performance in Human Services Organizations. In. P. Rino et al. (Ed) The Handbook of Human Services Management. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications