There is an increasing body of knowledge about the role and functions of leadership. Many studies, articles and books identify a range of attributes or competencies required to lead (e.g., “stay true to your style”) and most provide a list of tasks that leaders must tackle (e.g., “set boundaries”). The guidance provided below is taken from Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus1. It was chosen because it provides a conceptual framework that incorporates the “to do” lists of numerous studies and packages them into four broad bodies of work. The categories make it easier to assess the current status of leadership work in an agency, understand the interdependence of the work and fashion strategies that advance leadership in more than one category. The term “management” should not suggest that the work is
that of mid-management such as development of major systems (e.g., finance, human resources, and information). Rather the term reflects the direct and active engagement required of a leader. Vignettes are included to illustrate “lessons learned” by current or former public child welfare leaders.
The four categories are as follows:
Management of Focus
Management of Meaning and Expectations
Management of Trust
Management of Self