LEARN TO BE A BETTER YOUTH LEADERSHIP
- Start anytime, study at your own pace from homes
- Develop skills and knowledge that can be applied in a variety of contexts.
Youth leaders may work with government, church, educational, sporting and other organisations; providing support for young people throughout adolescence. Some youth leaders may be more focused on organising and running structured programs, while others have a less structured role (eg. a detached youth worker) perhaps focused on providing welfare and psychological support for a particular youth demographic (eg. unemployed youth, young offenders, homeless youth, etc).
The course is compiled of 6 modules, 4 core modules and 2 elective modules.
Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Youth Leadership is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
WHAT STYLE OF LEADERSHIP SUITS YOUR SITUATION?
Being in a position of authority does not necessarily mean that a person is an effective leader. An effective leader will be respected and his/her directions will be followed.
The ability to influence attitudes and behaviour of others is what makes a good leader.
It has been said that a leader is an "enabler"; because a good leader enables things to be done. Different people will lead their clients in different ways. Here are just a few of the different styles which might be adopted by a leader:
A. Domineering: I am the boss and you do what I say or else!
B. Laissez‑Faire: Let’s just roll along, do a reasonable job and don't rock the boat.
C. Democratic: Let's work together. Make decisions together.
D. Autocratic but humanistic: I give the orders, but suggestions are welcome.
There are of course many different ways of classifying leadership types but the main one’s are explained in more detail below. There is no right or wrong style of supervision/management as such, however, some may be more effective than others and foster better, more positive working relationships with other staff and these styles are the most commonly accepted.
· ‘Do as I say’ approach
· the supervisor decides what has to be done with few staff suggestions
· the supervisor defines what to do and how to do it
· the supervisor will explain the objectives
· the staff members are asked to confirm understanding
· Involve the staff in decision making
· Supervisor outlines work requirements
· The supervisor invites suggestion and/or feedback from the staff
· The supervisor defines the work conditions
· The staff make the final decision
· Little direction from supervisor
· Staff develop or work at their own pace
· The supervisor carries out a mostly supportive role
· Determine the tasks and speed of work with no staff involvement
· Often arrogant or abrupt during conversation with apparently little time to hear your suggestions
· Can be insensitive to the current issues within the workplace
How do people become leaders?
People can become leaders in many different ways. Some are appointed as leaders, some are elected, and others build an organisation or group around themselves (intentionally or sometimes unintentionally) to become a leader.
One leadership expert (Bass) theorised that there are three ways people can become leaders:
1. Trait Theory
Certain traits in someone’s personality can cause a natural evolution into a leadership role.
2. Crisis Theory
A critical event can create an urgent need for leadership, and encourage latent qualities to emerge within an individual.
3. Transformational Theory
A person can choose to become a leader; intentionally learn leadership skills, and then seek and attain a leadership role.
TYPES OF LEADERSHIP
When considering the theories of types of leadership, it is important to bear in mind that there are some problems with these theories.
1. They are mostly North American in origin, so may not take account of cultural differences.
2. They are mainly based on observations and studies of men. So women may question their validity of the role of women as leaders.
Situational Leadership Theory
Leaders emerge according to the situation in which they find themselves.
As a person matures, their capacity for leadership grows. Maturity has been defined as “the capacity to set high but attainable goals (achievement motivation), willingness and ability to take responsibility, and education and experience of the individual or a group.”
Responsibility only comes with willingness and ability. If the leader is not willing and able, they will not be a responsible leader.
The appropriate leadership style for a group will depend upon the maturity of the group. Not only must the leader be mature, but the leader must be able to assess the maturity of the individuals they lead, and adapt to use a leadership style which is appropriate to both the situation, and the maturity of those individuals.
Hershey and Blanchard argued that in situational leadership, dimensions are linked to task and relational behaviour. Task behaviour focuses on defining responsibilities and role. Relational behaviour is more about providing support for teams. The extent to which these are used depends on the person’s personal, psychological and job security and maturity. Hershey and Blanchard developed a test that looks at the elements around participation, delegation, sell or tell.
Life Cycle of Leadership
As situations change, the need for particular individuals to be “the leader” changes: leaders cease to be leaders and become followers. Followers can also cease to be followers and in the appropriate situation, become leaders.
Contingency theorists basically argue that the most effective leadership style depends on the context and will vary according to context. Blake and Moulton’s managerial grid has been influential in organisation development practice.
Fielder is one of the leaders of the contingency school, who suggested a continuum ranging from task-focused to people-focused leadership. Fielder argued that the most effective leadership style depended on the quality of relationships, the nature of the task and the power position between the leader and his/her followers. He argued that the style adopted by a leader is relatively stable and is part of their personality and can be predicted.
Why Study this Course?
This course is ideal if you are looking at getting into youth work. Youth work is both challenging and highly rewarding. Studying this course will provide you with the knowledge of different leadership styles and the skills to effectively implement leadership skills when working with youths. A qualification in Youth Leadership is also highly valuable for the professional development for someone who is already involved in youth work. to