The Complete Leader
96 pages

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96 pages

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The Complete Leader: Handbook of Essentials for Human Services Leadership gives leaders within human services organizations with lay or professional leadership responsibilities, over 25 essential practices for human services. Special attention is paid to supervision, case management, evaluation, teamwork and character. The content of this handbook was developed over three decades by respected leader Robert Shaw, working in various services with individuals and families. His approaches are holistic and integrated for both the needs of families and the nature of a human service organization's leaders.
It is estimated there are over 100,000 non-profit organizations in Canada and almost 2 million in the USA in the health care, social services, schools and universities, community and recreation services, churches and arts organizations. An estimated 6,000,000 American and 500,000 Canadian lay and professional leaders provide services to troubled children and their families. This book is an essential tool for these leaders in the areas of professional practices, client services and organizational skills.



Publié par
Date de parution 10 décembre 2014
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9781927355442
Langue English

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The Complete Leader - Handbook of Essentials for Human Services Leadership
Copyright © 2014 Robert Shaw
All rights reserved
Printed in Canada
International Standard Book Number: 978-1-927355-42-8
ISBN 978-1-927355-44-2 EPUB
Published by:
Castle Quay Books
Pickering, Ontario, L1W 1A5
Tel: (416) 573-3249
Edited by by Karen Stiller and Marina Hofman Willard
Cover design by Burst Impressions
Printed at Essence Publishing, Belleville, Ontario
This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the publishers.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Shaw, Robert, 1925-, author
The complete leader : handbook of essentials for human services leadership /
Robert Shaw ;
Karen Stiller, Marina Hofman Willard, editors.
Includes bibliographical references.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-1-927355-42-8 (pbk.).—ISBN 978-1-927355-44-2 (epub)
1. Human services—Practical Leadership—Handbooks, manuals, etc.
2. Nonprofit organizations—Leadership
3. Holistic Leadership—Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Title.
HV41.S53 2013 361.0068’4 C2013-906817-1
This book is dedicated to Myrlin (Angel 24/7)
And many dear colleagues, including
Aileen, Fred, Ed, Jack, Eric, Bernyce, Alice, Bruce, Bram, Phil, Georgina, Dick, Bill, Helen, Bill, Neville, Gerard, Emerson and Corinne
Table of Contents
Section I - The Leader
Chapter 1 - Leadership in the Voluntary Services Organization
• Leadership is about vision, learning and character. It comes from experience on the job, a mentor and a handbook. Its big test is the growth of those being led.
Chapter 2 - The Challenges of Voluntary Service Leadership
• There is no avoiding these seven big challenges. The leader builds teams to deal with each one. There are no short-term solutions.
Chapter 3 - Delegation: Where Organization Begins
• Delegation frees everyone to do his best. This shows the little known, big secret of leadership: accountability.
Chapter 4 - The Magic of Teamwork for Families
• Every human problem is complex. Helpfulness comes when different views are combined for each client. That takes teamwork.
Chapter 5 - The Art of Human Services Leadership
• The leader’s job is orchestration. The leader needs a vision of the whole effort and its people. To do that, she must be growing in self- awareness.
Chapter 6 - Leadership Grows by Learning: One Leader’s Story
• Here is the story of one leader’s growth. It is a long process of painful learning. It results in a person with a changed view of others and himself.
Chapter 7 - The Supervisory Relationship: Keystone to Client Benefits
• The main qualification of the helper is her experience in significant relationships. The key to client benefits is the quality of the supervisory relationship. Requires job/person balance.
Chapter 8 - Making Decisions for Client Benefit
• Decisions that benefit clients must be client decisions. Each of us is responsible for himself. Helpfulness requires decisions that are made mutually. Here we see the neglected art of mutual decision-making.
Section II - The Client
Chapter 9 - The Family is the Heart of our Society
• Our society is changing faster than anyone can recognize. The classic family is replaced by the blended family. Values and beliefs, like fashions, are new every day. Can the human services change to match today’s needs?
Chapter 10 - The Ugly Gulf in the Human Services
• Fragmentation is the greatest risk to our families. There are two sources. The big systems of governments, business and the media draw families to follow in their images. The human service organizations are themselves fragmented in our communities. All of this is too complex for families.
Chapter 11 - The Best Help for the Most People
• If fragmentation is the family’s big challenge, their need is for coordination of services designed for their unique needs. A case manager for each family, one at a time, does it—it’s called case management.
Chapter 12 - The Five Essentials of the Helping Process
• With too many counselors of different colors, the family can’t be sure to get the right help. The helpers need some common standards. Here are five basic steps drawn from the fields of family counseling and psychotherapy.
Chapter 13 - Faith: The Pickle in the Muddle
• Families are really confused by all the different religious organizations. Each seems to claim the truth. While churches are important to families, a clear distinction is needed between religion and faith. Religion is found in organizations. Faith is the choice of the family and its members—it is essential in all human services.
Chapter 14 - Wellness is the Better Way
• Is it better to wait for the problem to come or to get fit now to face whatever comes? Wellness is building on one’s strengths—avoiding all the obvious conditions of obesity, addictions and interpersonal binds. Here is the alternative to a problem view of well-being.
Chapter 15 - Finally, Family Wellness is Arriving
• Attention to wellness is just arriving—not even a movement yet. The first step is a definition of wellness. Here is an early approach that places the wellness job in family hands.
Chapter 16 - Pioneers of Client-Centered Services
• New family wellness projects are popping up. They feature family responsibilities and professional collaboration.
Section III: The Organization
Chapter 17 - The Mission: The Heart of Human Services
• The mission statement answers two questions: Who? Why? It defines client benefits. It is the acid test of every decision.
Chapter 18 - Strategic Planning: Leading, Not Lagging
• We all need to know where we are going. Here is a simple, annual half-day event led by the board that tells us just that.
Chapter 19 - The Volunteer: Soul of the Human Services
• The volunteer donates herself to the mission. She does this freely. Her presence ensures that the organization and the professional services are charitable.
Chapter 20 - How Goals Measure Results
• We act and learn by setting simple, practical goals. From the experience we can improve. Here is how goal achievements can be measured and used.
Chapter 21 - Evaluation: Benefits, Facts and Myths
• The organization that evaluates sees what it is doing. Those that don’t evaluate can’t know if they are helpful. Evaluation must be simple and regular, with methods that serve the clients, the professionals and the volunteers.
Chapter 22 - Information Systems for Client Benefit
• We are in the information age where data systems give the ability to manage and learn. While computers can help the human services organization, early applications should be small and developed for and by the users.
Chapter 23 - Human Services: The Way Forward
• The human services are falling behind the fast changing community. This shift can be reversed by small, local, new service projects to test what will help clients best.
Chapter 24 - Leading: the Whole Living Picture
• The leader has a unique overview of the total operations. Using these practical models, tested in practice, the leader can view all the parts and how they can work together for client benefit. Leaders need maps to steer the course.
Chapter 25 - Project New Hope: The Handbook Model
• Here we have the special service program where the practices of this Handbook were fully applied. Research results show outstanding achievements by the families, their children and the program personnel.
About the Author
The Complete Leader handbook is for professionals and volunteers with leadership responsibilities in the main human services sectors: health, education, welfare, community services, churches and arts organizations. The handbook provides proven leadership practices from three decades of development and use in the fields of children’s mental health and family services.
Each of the Chapters stands on its own and evolved directly from practice with clients. They have been developed, tested, evaluated and in use for services and training across North America. Taken together, the contents of the Chapters form a holistic matrix demonstrating the full scope of nonprofit leadership.
We believe this handbook is unique because:
• Each practice comes from current use.
• The practices are applicable to the full range of human services—health care, social services, education, and community service and arts organizations.
• Each practice has been evaluated and passed through a goal-setting filter.
• A holistic model shows the full picture of nonprofit leadership and its key parts.
• Orchestra leading is a metaphor for this model—the leader, with her charts, has a picture of the whole production and the harmony of all parts.
• Nonprofit leadership requires a combination of professional practices, client services and organizational skills.
The Complete Leader handbook demonstrates this.

Section I: The Leader
Susan is the nurse supervisor on a ward of the general hospital. She is responsible for the oversight of 12 nurses, who work in three shifts. Most days she is near her wits’ end. She has doctors breathing down her neck. She has the charts and paperwork that just grow every day. Then, Susan has the working lives of a dozen nurses, who are good family members, well trained and doing their best for the patients.
There are daily patient issues, prescription problems, grumpy patients, chart confusions, and debates about care. Susan must decide when to intervene or not, when to give direction and when to back off. She is often lonely—she can’t be one of the gang. Susan is a leader. She is sometimes stuck with unflattering labels.
Susan discovers this handbook on leadership. She believes it is unique in the body of leadership literature because its chapters are based entirely on practices that have been applied and tested over time. She reads that leading is about enabling those serving clients to do their jobs well. She understands that her job has two big parts: seeing that the jobs are done and taking care of the nurses.
From the handbook, Susan also realizes that she is the only one who has the picture of the whole program. That helps her decision-making to have focus on the mission and fairness. She knows that the quality of her leadership directly affects the quality of the service to the clients.
From the handbook, Susan knows that her first job is the quality of the relationships she has with the team of nurses. She is in the people business. Susan’s style will shape the quality of service in the entire ward.

Section II: The Client
At home, Jim, a carpenter, and his wife, Marie, know they are the leaders of the family. They have no training in leading. Yet they expect that some of their children will become leaders. They know that family life has to do with raising children, but they are not so sure how to raise leaders. This handbook will help parents by providing teaching on leadership for those who want to exemplify good leadership as they guide their children to reach their full potential as leaders.
Jim and Marie are well aware of the risks facing their children. The daily news makes this evident. They also feel that forces like business, government and media are fragmenting their family. These forces do not seem primarily concerned about family life or even the well-being of the individual. Families face the budget squeeze from a poor economy and less job security.
This family is surrounded in its community by many helpful organizations—schools, churches, hospitals, social services, counseling clinics and community service organizations. Families may have difficulty making use of these organizations that seem impersonal, bureaucratic and puzzling.
When they were growing up, Jim and Marie did not have this problem, because they knew the family doctor, the minister and the teacher personally. Suddenly, these professionals now work under the umbrella of an organization that is usually big and growing. While the professionals are competent and caring, their systems are often stiff.
When Jim’s and Marie’s parents needed help, they sought it from familiar places. Now, there are waiting lists and appointments. When visiting a professional, sometimes Jim and Marie get the help they need. But too often the contact leads to a referral to another organization. This referral process proves difficult to navigate. They take their place on a new list. When they get an appointment, they have to tell their story all over again. Strangely, the first organization does not pass its information on to the next.
If their problem is about a child’s school performance, then after a school meeting, Jim and Marie might be referred to a reading specialist, a psychologist or a psychiatrist. This process can easily take three months.
The recommendation may be ultimately quite helpful, but the family realizes that often the helping organizations involve families in routines that are too slow, too complicated and too chancy. They see that all these organizations are not working together. Jim and Marie see the big gap, as families must travel from one organization to the next. When they finally get to the right services, there is no assurance that any agency will stick with them as long as they need it.
Our bizarre situation is that the family, the institution with by far the greatest impact on the character of children, is disconnected from its community sources of help. The leaders of our most vital institution, the family, have their hands tied behind their backs in their job of being parents. They have difficulty finding the help that they need. Nobody seems to focus on their roles and skills as family leaders.
Services offered to this family need to be accessible and connected. The agency’s range of services can include residential, school-based, counseling, home care training and information. The greater the range, the greater the family’s choice and ease of access. The most exciting new frontier is family wellness. The Complete Leader shows Joe and Marie new ways to lead the family in our complex society.

Section III: The Organization
Susan knows that the key to her leadership in the ward is found in her relationships with her nurses. Jim and Marie know that the client services they need must be easily available, uncomplicated and reliable.
These are significant challenges facing today’s human service organizations. The big question is leadership.
These organizations are overworked and under-financed but populated with competent, dedicated personnel. Facing these challenges will require new leadership styles that are based on proven records of achievement. The Complete Leader provides details of leadership practices that have come from reliable experiences.
Project New Hope, a successful human services project that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, is the working model:
• The mission clearly defines who is to be served and why.
• Long-range plans make for orderly growth, one step at a time.
• A range of services enable clients to access the help they need.
• Services and results are documented and measured.
• The organization is founded on mutuality and teamwork.
• The organization recognizes the vital place of faith in human affairs.
This handbook brings proven practices for leaders in human service organizations. It contains practices developed through years of professional practices. It is beneficial to professional, volunteer and family leaders.
Section I - The Leader
The human services leader leads an orchestra of professionals and volunteers whose combined purpose is to help families and individuals. She leads through her knowledge of sound leadership practices and through her very person.
This handbook offers leadership lessons from proven practice, illustrating essential practices and insights into the human processes of leading.
A practitioner wrote this handbook. Leadership is learned on the job—not through books and courses, and ultimately not even through this one. The Handbook can be useful. Leadership is tough, rewarding but only for those who would choose no other work.
Chapter 1 - Leadership in the Voluntary Services Organization
It is a pleasure to reflect on the nature of the voluntary organization and its leadership. It is a comfort to remember that in our society human services are in the hands of communities of volunteers, despite the ever presence of money madness in our world. Human services have their origins in the voluntary organizations. Their service purposes have not changed with time.
The mission of the organization is the cornerstone of leadership. Mission identifies those to be served, their special needs and the desired results.
The essence of leadership is enabling others to perform to their full capacity and satisfaction. And the very essence of the essence is trust.
In Canada, the beneficiaries of our human services number in the millions. Their special challenges range from a child adjusting to school to marital tension to spiritual confusion. The voluntary sector is blessed with highly competent volunteers and professionals.
From a cursory view of the organization, it is apparent that leadership is exercised at different levels in the human services organization.
There are at least four leadership levels:
• The board of directors holds total responsibility for policy, finance and community relations.
• The senior management level is responsible for the total operation.
• At the program level, the focus is on specific services.
• Responsibility for the welfare of the client is found at the direct service level.
With leadership operating at different levels with different roles, there is a need for common elements of leadership style. Incompatible styles lead to confusion and diminished services.
The first common element of leadership is a balance between the human relations and the performance sides of leadership. Some leaders favor the human relations side of leading; others prefer a “getting the job done” style. A balance is required. Too great a reliance on one style leads to service ineffectiveness.
Here is a real-life experience of contrasts in leadership styles.
James was the principal of a training college for leaders. He was posted to a local church congregation in western Ontario to become the lead clergyman. When meeting with the church council, James explained that he brought a good knowledge of leadership literature but no experience as a congregation leader.
James then took the unusual position that he would try no direct leadership efforts. He pointed out that the council members understood the congregation better than he ever would. He reserved the right of approval of council decisions. James would not attempt any service initiatives but would leave those responsibilities with the council members.
In taking that stand, James showed his trust of the council and relegated his role to mainly a coach. He provided a balanced sense of responsibility and caring in his leadership.
After five years, James was posted elsewhere. At the time of his leaving, that congregation was known for having the strongest lay leadership in the denomination.
Paul became the new church leader—a dear man who took his clerical responsibilities very seriously. This led him into a very active role in all aspects of the congregation. His style was micro management. Within a matter of months, leadership activities of the council had diminished to their earlier dormant state.
The essence of leadership is enabling others to serve at their full potential.
A balance must be achieved between the human relations and performance sides of others.
Leaders come with motivation, knowledge and skills from their previous service and training. In most cases the leader instinctively favors the human relations side of leadership. Within the voluntary organization, however, these instincts must operate within a common leadership framework. That framework includes such processes as delegation, supervision and teamwork. People working together for a common purpose must appreciate each other’s interpersonal and organizational styles.
It is no small task for a leader trained in one profession to adjust to other professions in order to achieve common organizational styles. This knowledge cannot come from books and courses. The leader must learn as she goes with a new focus on the best combination of professional and organizational practices, rather than those from her own profession. This learning and transition comes from experience on the job.
On the performance side, the adjustments to organization frameworks are even more demanding. Just imagine the steps needed to arrive at a common understanding of recording and statistical methods of performance and accountability for both a social worker and an information systems person. Yet the client needs to experience consistency of practices from the organization.
Fortunately, the voluntary human service organization has an acid test for its definitions of good human relations and helpful performance styles. As with any question, the answer is found in the mission.
What shapes the nature and character of the organization is what works for the client. Human relations styles for the client shape the human relations styles of the organization. Performance styles helpful to clients shape the performance practices of the organization.
If Paul had pondered his best counseling styles with his new parishioners, he could then have seen how he should have led.
Keys to Leadership
The leader is a coach who:
• Encourages working together with a common vision.
• Helps direct individual accomplishments toward organization objectives.
• Enables common people to attain uncommon results.
Chapter 2 - The Challenges of Voluntary Service Leadership
Some think that the voluntary organization is simpler than the business corporation. Not so. The voluntary organization is at least twice as complicated. The business corporation has a single bottom line: profit. The voluntary organization has at least two: efficiency and effectiveness.
Given the number of big challenges, one wonders why we take on leadership.
Here is a list of big challenges facing every human services leader:
1. Suffering is inseparable from helpfulness. Who says so? Leaders from as far back as 2,000 years. No good deed goes unpunished.
A retired nurse supervisor was asked about her leader’s job. Her answer was, “The worst job I ever had—95 percent suffering and 5 percent satisfaction.”
How could this be for a caring, sensitive leader? Her suffering could have multiple sources: difficult clients, the upset counselor, critical colleagues and the administration. Apparently these combined to make her life miserable.
There is another side to this story. This nurse was one leader of six different family services of an agency. Her program was home care. From the continuous data from all services, this home care service proved to be the most effective. This program was known for its strong integrated team.
So, the whole story is that this nurse did her job well despite the suffering.
For some leaders, the suffering is too much—they withdraw. Others decide to grow a thick skin. The most effective leaders accept suffering as part of the process of helping.
2. What could be more complex than volunteers holding important roles at every level of the organization?
Volunteers at the level of the board of directors constitute the ultimate authority for the organization’s operation.
Volunteers at the service level assist in the processes with the client.
Imagine a volunteer who believes her role is to be a direct conduit between the board and the frontline services to the clients. Without clearly written role definitions and training, such frightening prospects can occur.
3. Next on the complexity list is efficiency . The simple definition of efficiency is the ratio of services provided to the resources used. Cost per case is an excellent example of an efficiency indicator. The most commonly used standard of measurement is “total served.” The first use of cost per 27 case can come as a great shock to an organization, with few realizing things like the actual cost of a team meeting.
Those in the helping professions are usually resistant to efficiency measures. They claim their work is humane, not statistical. This resistance is usually overcome with well-placed attention to indicators of effectiveness.
4. Effectiveness indicators measure outcomes for clients —a more popular indicator. That popularity shrinks with the necessity of measurement methods. An example of an effectiveness measure is “percentage of goals achieved.” Not many human service professionals have the experience of continuous outcome measures of their service. Not many welcome such measurements.
These bottom lines require a discipline of common measures acceptable to all staff. Their indicators are more a matter of relationships and trust than the mechanics of measurement.
It should be apparent that these two bottom lines of human services offer solid evidence of the organization’s helpfulness. In more blunt language, without such indicators, the organization does not know what it is doing.
5. Quality assurance. This refers to a continuous process of monitoring service practices based on written standards of practice. Standards must be selected with full participation by all practitioners. A monitoring system acceptable to all must be designed.
Imagine asking local clergy to meet to develop standards for their ministry roles. Then, try to imagine these clergy serving with a monitoring system that reviews logs of their actual practices.
However complex quality assurance is, no claim for quality is justified without a system of quality assurance. The nursing profession and children’s mental health practitioners are making encouraging progress on this demanding discipline.

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