6 Shocking Facts about Leadership in the Social Work World

1.) When asked what skills were necessary for social work leaders in the 21st century, Community Development was the number 1 skill people answered (Rank and Hutchison 495).

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2.) A manager is not the same thing as a leader. A manager may solve problems and keep things running, but a leader is someone who is creative, takes risks, and promotes innovation and organizational growth (Brilliant 326).

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3.) Despite being able to advocate for their clients, some social workers feel powerless in their own organizations and feel helpless to bring about change for the better (Brilliant 326)

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4.) Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge was a pioneering social leader who promoted social work as social justice and paved the way for women to become leaders in the social work field (Jabour 34).

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5.) There are five common elements of leadership for social workers:

1.) Proaction

2.) Values and Ethics

3.) Empowerment

4.) Vision

5.) Communication

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(Rank and Hutchison 492)

6.) It is a staple for a strong social work leader o follow the NASW Code of Ethics which serves as a behavioral guide for the profession and is clearly distinct from other ethical codes (Rank and Hutchison 493)

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Sources:

Brilliant, E. (1986) ‘Social work leadership: A missing ingredient?’, Social Work, vol. 31, pp. 325-30.

Jabour, A. (2012). Relationship and Leadership: Sophonisba Breckinridge and Women in Social Work. Affilia, 27(1), 22-37. doi:10.1177/0886109912437496

Rank, M., & Hutchison, W. (2000). An analysis of leadership within the social work profession. Journal of Social Work Education, 36(3), 487-502.

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