The servant-leader is servant first, it begins with a natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first, as opposed to, wanting power, influence, fame, or wealth.
– Robert K. Greenleaf
The information provided in this unit will cover many best practices and attributes that enable one to be an effective leader. There are a few other basic principles to leadership to keep in mind through leadership. The first strategy is to volunteer for a leadership role that fits your passion and your availability. The second strategy is to be consistent and dependable. In other words, whatever you volunteer to do, be sure to complete the task. Leadership strategies can be implemented with advocacy efforts, professional associations, research, clinical practice, and supervision.
In this unit, you will shift your attention to developing leadership skills that can be applied within the counseling profession. There are numerous leadership strategies, theories, and models that you will learn about through the unit readings. For example, you will examine Chi Sigma Iota’s principles and practices of leadership, which define exemplary leadership in the field of counseling. In addition to learning how to develop leadership skills, you will learn how to teach leadership skills to your students and foster leadership development among your supervisees.
Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press.
Frick. D. M. (2004). Robert K. Greenleaf: A life of servant leadership. Berrett-Koehler.
Leadership and Advocacy Panel Discussion
I'm wondering if we could focus just for a few minutes on leadership specifically. I'm wondering what it means to you to be a leader. How do we integrate that into our identity as counseling professionals and maybe even what does good leadership look like? Dr. Lambert, would you like to start with that?
Sure. I'm happy to start with that. I have seen all kinds of leaders in my career, and I think it's really important to know that leadership is about showing up. It's about knowing your values and your beliefs, and it's about speaking up when you have the voice and helping others who don't have the voice get to the table so that they can share their thoughts as well.
To be a good leader is really understanding that we work collaboratively, that we need to be transformative leaders and look at systemic change to make the entire profession stronger, to make our communities stronger, to help clients be able to access services and all of those kinds of things. I think that's probably why the word advocacy gets muddled sometimes because leadership can certainly take a role in advocacy, but leadership can be leadership in and of itself. Leadership can be leadership and research as we look at people who serve on journal editor boards. Leadership can be about clinical work and being an administrative at an agency or within supervision, we can have leadership as well.
And so all of those sort of capacities allows people to find where their passion is and where they can get fulfillment and contribute to the profession. I would say just another little nugget that I have learned through the years is it's really helpful to have a leadership mentor to develop into a leader and have the money kind of stretch you. For instance, there might be a role that is a little bit out of one's comfort zone and having somebody kind of help you get into that would be really helpful.
I, myself experienced imposter syndrome being ACA president. I know that sounds hard to believe, but certainly there was a time period of thinking, oh my gosh, what in the world did I get myself into? And how did I get here? And what am I supposed to be doing? But having mentors and being able to have conversations and working with a group and a team really helped to be able to get the goals for that year accomplished. I think that's something that we can extrapolate and take to different settings.
Thank you. I really appreciate that. I'm wondering what others might want to add in terms of what it means to be a leader or what good leadership looks like.
Well, for me, good leadership is one thing. It's developing the next generation. If you're not doing that, you're not leading. I mean, for me, that's all boiled down to that one sentence.
I think one thing that I would like to add is that as someone who is both a manager and a leader, that there really is a difference there. And so when you asked the question, what is good leadership, I always am also asking that question to myself, to faculty, to doctoral learners, because you can manage something and still not be a good leader. There's a difference.
In leadership, requires the ability to take a risk. Sometimes it requires having enough ego strength to be able to tolerate no, and it also requires the ability to have to make a decision. When you manage people, you can shuffle things. You can give directives, but there's a level in order to be a good leader beyond a manager I think that you need to allow people autonomy, but you also have to be able to be strong enough to make a decision when people can't. In my experience, that's really hard. I talk about it with learners and faculty and even clients when I saw clients about having enough ego strength to be able to tolerate the discomfort that you may feel from those that will disagree and it's hard.
But I think when we talk about, especially things like transformative leadership, you can't be that kind of leader without having to struggle yourself with discomfort because not everyone is going to agree and not everyone will support you. Yet, you have to be able to set your sights higher than, and be able to tolerate aspects of those kinds of disagreements. When you work as a professional, when you work with lots of other people who have master's degrees, when you work with lots of people who have PhDs, we're opinionated. I mean, we all have strong opinions. The reality is, is those opinions don't always meld. And so leadership is about being able to transcend that in my opinion.
If I could, there was a word that I heard twice there and it was about transformation. I think that that's really just so much rooted in leadership and a little bit of what Dr. Lang was talking about, about the differences between managing and leading or the different types of leadership that Dr. Lambert alluded too. I think that the thing about a good leader is that transformational piece of whatever project you're involved in.
Maybe you're a CES learner and you're working on your dissertation and there's some leadership that's involved in that and leading that project and as what you were discussing about our leaders that are on our CSI board, that they are working to construct and transform our chapter of CSI to be kind of the premier online chapter, or whether it's faculty doing curriculum leadership and they're trying to develop and they're trying to improve the educational experience of our learners. And so there's like this development piece there that I think that that's the transformational piece for taking something a good leader takes something from where it starts and it moves it along that sort of a continuum to a better place, to clear ideas, to a vision starting the beginning aspects of a plan, to having faculty that maybe weren't so involved, but are now so much more involved and helping them develop their strengths.
Also, I think even with our learners, that's helping them see that they might have some work to do with being receptive to feedback, but that's also a developmental transformative process. And so leaders aren't afraid to take those risks to step out there and to have those hard conversations and also to step into that place of vulnerability.
Principles and Practices of Leadership Excellence
Principle #1: Philosophy of Leadership
Exemplary leaders recognize that service to others, the profession, and the associations are the preeminent reasons for involvement in leadership positions.
Leaders recognize that service to others is a hallmark for effective leadership that requires:
- careful consideration of the magnitude of their commitment prior to accepting a nomination for a leadership role;
- acceptance of leadership positions primarily for the purpose of service rather than personal reward; and
- willingness to seek counsel prior to decision making that affects others.
Principle #2: Commitment to Mission
Exemplary leaders show evidence of a continuing awareness of and commitment to furthering the mission of their organization.
Leaders maintain a continuing awareness of and dedication to enhancing the mission, strategic plan, bylaws, and policies of the organization throughout all leadership functions. They work individually and in teams to fulfill the objectives of the organization in service to others.
Principle #3: Preservation of History
Exemplary leaders respect and build upon the history of their organization.
Leaders study the history of their organization through review of archival documents (e.g., minutes of meetings, policies) and other resources, and discussions with current and former leaders, and they act to build upon that history through informed decision making.
Principle #4: Vision of the Future
Exemplary leaders use their knowledge of the organization's history, mission, and commitment to excellence to encourage and create change appropriate to meeting future needs.
Leaders draw upon the wisdom of the past and challenges of the future to articulate a vision of what can be accomplished through imagination, collaboration, cooperation, and creative use of resources.
Principle #5: Long-Range Perspective
Exemplary leaders recognize that service includes both short- and long-range perspectives.
Leaders act to impact the organization before the year of their primary office, during the year of their primary office, and beyond that year, as appropriate, to assure the ongoing success of the organization.
Principle #6: Preservation of Resources
Exemplary leaders act to preserve the human and material resources of the organization.
Leaders assure that policies and practices are in effect to assure financial responsibility and continuing respectful treatment of human and other material resources of the organization.
Principle #7: Respect for Membership
Exemplary leaders respect the needs, resources, and goals of their constituencies in all leadership decisions.
Leaders are deliberate in making decisions that are respectful of the memberships' interests and enhance the benefits to them as active members in the organization.
Principle #8: Mentoring, Encouragement, and Empowerment
Exemplary leaders place a priority on mentoring, encouraging, and empowering others.
Leaders assure that members are provided with opportunities to develop and apply their unique talents in service to others, the profession, and association.
Principle #9: Recognition of Others
Exemplary leaders assure that all who devote their time and talents in service to the mission of the organization receive appropriate recognition for their contributions.
Leaders maintain records of service to the organization and provide for public recognition of service on an annual basis, minimally (e.g., letters of appreciation, certificates of appreciation).
Principle #10: Feedback and Self-Reflection
Exemplary leaders engage in self-reflection, obtain feedback on their performance in leadership roles from multiple sources, and take appropriate action to better serve the organization.
Leaders seek feedback, for example, from members of their leadership team, personal and leadership mentors, and past leaders of the organization. Exemplary leaders experiencing significant life transitions or crises actively and regularly seek consultation from such mentors regarding their capacity to continue the work of the organization during such duress. Leaders take action congruent with that feedback, which reflects their commitment to these Principles and Practices of Leadership Excellence.
Developed by the CSI Academy of Leaders for Excellence and approved by the CSI Executive Council for distribution to its members and chapters (1999).
With permission from CSI, authors conducting research on the Principles and Practices of Leadership Excellence may include this document in their publication. When citing the document, please use the following citation:
Chi Sigma Iota Academy of Leaders. (1999). Principles and practices of leadership excellence. Greensboro, NC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.csi-net.org/?Leadership_Practices
With permission from CSI, authors conducting research on the Principles and Practices of Leadership Excellence Survey may use the following citation:
Wahesh, E., & Myers, J. E. (2012). Principles and practices of leadership excellence survey (PPLES). Greensboro, NC: Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic & Professional Honor Society International. Retrieved from: https://cdn.ymaws.com/sites/www.csi-net.org/resource/resmgr/Research,_Essay,_Papers,_Articles/PPLE_Study.pdf
If you have not yet done so, review this unit's discussion information above and complete the assigned readings. For this discussion, address the following in 750 words using the attached articles and above references —
- How would you describe your personal leadership style? (The use of servant leader and the integrative leadership model speaks to me! )
- Which theory of leadership resonates with you, and how is that theory incorporated into your leadership style?
- How will you incorporate aspects of servant leadership into your continued leadership efforts?
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