by Alexandria Santistevan, John Marshall Law School Intern

“The successful organization has one major attribute that sets it apart from unsuccessful organizations… dynamic and effective leadership.” – Hersey and Blanchard

As part of our Fall 2016 capacity building effort for mentoring and CBT organizations, Get IN Chicago hosted Deborah Minor Harvey of The Right Source, Inc for Developing Your Leadership Presence & Fostering Innovation in October.

Developing leadership skills is important for all levels of staff, but determining what kind of leadership you want, need, and expect requires defining.  The session kicked off with an exploration of different ideas of leadership:


The group also discussed two leadership theories and how to incorporate them into everyday work.  First, they explored Daniel Goleman’s six leadership styles: coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and coaching. 


In Goleman’s estimation, a good leader does not stick to one type of style but mixes approaches depending on the situation. For example, someone may need to be a coercive leader during times of turnaround, but then a democratic leader to increase morale. Recognizing when those skills are necessary – and adjusting accordingly – is an important characteristic to develop.

The group also explored John C. Maxwell’s theory of five levels of leadership and how to progress through them.  More on the five levels can be explored in Maxwell’s book The Five Levels of Leadership: Steps to Maximize Your Potential.

  1. Position – people follow because they are required to do so
  2. Permission – people follow because they want to do so
  3. Production – people follow because of your track record and what you have done for the organization
  4. People Development – people follow because of what you have done for them
  5. Pinnacle – respect is garnered; people follow because of who you are and what you represent

In closing, participants were asked to “try on” on a new leadership style or strategy.  At the next leadership session in November, participants will reflect on how the changes unfolded for them.

What are your leadership skills and style?  What changes can you make to apply these ideas in your work or at your organization?


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