Do you know someone who is an effective manager or director? If so, what qualities do they have that make them so successful? Gene Atherton and Jason Heaton explored this topic and found several similar characteristics in today's leaders. In this three-part series, they've detailed what it takes to be a successful leader. In their conclusion, they provide more must-have qualities along with some final thoughts on effective leadership.
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A human approach to leadership
By Jason Heaton and Gene Atherton
Effective leadership for the 21st Century
It is our opinion that all successful organizations have high performing staff who are guided by a clearly defined, commonly held purpose. The purpose and all other informal rules are expressed in words. “Words, language, and metaphors are more than mere descriptions of reality. They are words that create worlds.”
The providing opportunity for the correctional organizations to fully participate in understanding and expressing their purpose is a requirement of every successful correctional leader. “In this chaotic world, we need leaders. But we don’t need bosses. We need leaders to help us develop the clear identity that lights the dark moments of confusion.
We need leaders to support us as we learn to live by our values. We need leaders to understand that we are best controlled by concepts that invite our participation, not policies and procedures that curtail our contribution.” More
Regarding Leadership for the 21st century - Part II, 10/3/07
Reading about the senior staff giving new recruits the "encouragement" that they wouldn't last long in the business, reminded me of an incident from my own past. Many years ago, I was an officer in a metro county jail. A disgruntled ex-staff had become an officer with a local municipal jurisdiction, and was quoted in a newspaper article speaking disparagingly about his previous employment, saying "a monkey could do that job."
This caused a bit of a stir in the county jail administration, and subsequently a memo came out reminding us that we had reason to be proud of our work because "a monkey could definitely not do your job."
As I have worked in the field, I have repeatedly seen the principle that one who aspires to leadership must be the servant of all. I think it is helpful for leaders to consider themselves a support person to the front-line workers, making sure those workers have the training, equipment, information, direction, and resources to do their jobs.
Leaders take initiative to anticipate potential problems and prepare for them. They set an example and also the pace. Most often, the staff are well aware of what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, they just need a leader to support and enable them, and not get in their way. It's very true what Ronald Reagan once said: "There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit."
A leader also has the lonely task of being responsible for the outcome of the work. For those down in the ranks, problems can be "other people's problems." But a leader is obligated to face it all and deal with it. Being a leader is not rocket science, but it is certainly challenging. And a monkey definitely could not do it.
David Bornus, Management Analyst, MN Dept. of Corrections
Have an opinion? Send them to email@example.com.
Upcoming stories on Corrections.com and the Corrections Connection ezine
Focus Issues 2007
CORRECTIONS.COM FEATURE STORIES
Time to cowboy-up
If you’re in Louisiana this month, grab your lasso, stirrups, and canteen, because at the state’s penitentiary, October means one thing: it’s time to cowboy-up. More
Crawling into the bottle
Most of us in corrections know someone who is a “hopeless alcoholic.” Sadly, rarely do we do anything about it to try to help these officers. More
Serum marker magic? Targeting hepatitis C
The Infectious Diseases in Corrections Report delves once again into the stormy waters of how, why and when to treat inmates plagued with hepatitis C virus infection. More
Med101store.com, a leading supplier of disposable medical supplies, sells directly from the warehouse to health care departments and prisons in 48 states. It’s an unprecedented move that promises to impact the way medical supplies are purchased in this country.
“With the Internet, a lot of manufacturers like Dell computers have already successfully eliminated the middle man to save the customer money,” says Joe Giovinco, President of Med 101, “now we are the first to do it for medical supplies.” Learn more.
Allen County Sheriff's Dept. signs 5-year phone contract with PCS
Public Communications Services, Inc. (PCS) a leading provider of inmate communications services to the corrections industry, is pleased to announce that Allen County, Fort Wayne Indiana Sheriff's Department has signed a 5-year contract with PCS for their inmate telephone services. More
Syscon Presents Prison Gangs’ Management Solution To National Major Gangs Task Force
Syscon Justice Systems, the world’s leader in offender management systems, announced today that it will officially launch its new Security Threat Groups (TAG STG) application during a luncheon speech and presentation More
DuPont Personal Protection Introduces Tychem® QC for Corrections
DuPont, the maker of Kevlar® and a leader in protective apparel for nearly 40 years, has introduced a new garment for corrections officers, DuPont™ Tychem® QC for Corrections. More
Nebraska names new Warden
The Nebraska Department of Correctional appointed Barbara Lewien as Warden of its work ethic camp in McCook. In 1995, Lewien began her career with the Wyoming Department of Corrections... Read more
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12th National Workshop on Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders
Date: 10/20 - 10/24/07
a conference for correctional administrators and staff, social workers, medical and mental health care workers, advocates, ex-offenders, faith-based organizations, secular non-profits, researchers, offender job training and placement specialists, educators, evaluators, program developers, policy makers, and all those interested in women and girls in the criminal justice system. More
Collaborating for Community Justice: A Local Public Safety Imperative
Date: 10/28 - 10/31/07
ICCA’s conference in San Diego this year will highlight collaboration among criminal justice stakeholders, feature the latest research from speakers, and offer 26 diverse demonstration workshops of evidence-based best practices at work in community corrections. More
Film: The Dhamma Brothers
New England Film Artists Present The Dhamma Brothers, 6 pm at the Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A dramatic tale of human potential and transformation, the film documents the stories of thirty-six Alabama inmates who enter an arduous and intensive course of silent meditation lasting ten days. More
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)