The leader’s organization is a community-based movement that focuses on enhancing the life of African Americans. It achieves the objective by allowing African Americans realize equality and economic self-reliance as well as enter into positions of power (National Urban League, 2015). The organization also helps African Americans to expand their access to civil rights. It provides a series of community-based services to African Americans. It also issues solutions to community problems in various African American settlements. The organization is a community that values all community members. It also constitutes a community whose members can adequately sustain their needs and the needs of their families. In addition, the organization envisions a community filled with vibrant and flourishing neighborhoods whose members can share prosperity and welfare (National Urban League, 2015).
Overly, the organization coordinates a series of synergized efforts with the objective of creating a better civilization.
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In the Freedom Movement era, the organization contributed significantly to racial freedom and equal access to opportunities for African Americans (National Urban League, 2015). In addition, the organization operated more like a grassroots movement. It fought the numerous instances of injustice directed towards African Americans, including various forms of racial discrimination. Currently, the organization continues to promote racial justice, civil rights, and equal opportunities by implementing programs that advance living standards and empowerment (National Urban League, 2015).
The organization cooperates with community leaders, government agencies, civic institutions and corporations with an objective of eradicating poverty among African Americans. It achieves the objectives set in the mission by introducing programs that are aimed at eradicating poverty, improving educational quality, and empowering African Americans in the economic domain. It also promotes equality and aims to improve civic engagement as well as lessen cases of social injustice (National Urban League, 2015). Empowerment ranks highly on the organization’s agenda with a significant focus on reducing an inequality gap. It is aimed at closing gaps in the socioeconomic sphere and attaining comparable figures in education, income level and employment. The organization has affiliate networks working at a local level. The parent organization that carries the local affiliate networks runs approximately 25 national programs. As a result, this organization disburses nearly $25 million on the annual basis to boost operations of its local constituents (National Urban League, 2015).
The organization carries out its activities in a low-income socioeconomic setting. It targets the affairs of African Americans, mostly those living in the worst slums throughout the United States. The organization focuses its operations in the low-income socioeconomic setting because of the numerous social and economic difficulties the poor in the slums experience. It allows the organization to empower communities and transform the lives of the underprivileged.
The organization allocates a substantial amount of its funds for alleviating devastating social problems in the American ghettos or urban slums. The empowerment objective is a move that the organization adopts as a sure way of ensuring that children in ghettos have access to quality education. In addition, the organization focuses on eliminating cases of drug trafficking, prostitution and crime in urban slums (National Urban League, 2015). The eradication of such ills ensures people have equal opportunities of engaging in meaningful activities that might transform their lives. The socioeconomic setting allows the organization to recognize and harness untapped talents in urban slums and ensure the talented acquire equal opportunities to showcase their skills. Consequently, such people can have avenues for realizing their economic self-reliance in the future.
More importantly, the organization provides the poor with an opportunity to develop academically, thus improving their literacy and employment levels. It also provides students with the exposure to well-wishers who might provide scholarships to academically talented individuals. Consequently, educational attainment allows such poor children to come out of poverty and develop into prominent people. In response, such people can give back to their communities in the form of funding or even starting supportive programs. Therefore, operating in the low-income socioeconomic setting allows the organization to build networks assisting the disadvantaged.
The organization can also launch programs in the socioeconomic setting to assist the needy in handling daily hurdles. The setting provides the organization with a platform of producing an observable change. The organization can transform drug addicts into productive citizens. It can expand outreach in inner cities where government organizations cannot achieve much success.
The success of the organization in bringing a change to the low-income settings lies in the activities of social workers. Most leaders in the organization have displayed charisma in their actions and concern for the quality of life of the underprivileged. In addition, they have exhibited great advocacy power and excellent leadership skills in lessening the poverty menace. Over time, each leader in the organization has emerged to be a stepping stone towards improved and expanded social service. The leaders have taken the organization to better levels of achievement. The collaboration between the competent leaders, the government and nongovernmental partners has led to improved service delivery.
The distribution of leadership between the umbrella organization and its affiliates has seen the nomination of leaders capable of causing a local change. The continued development of volunteers and organizational staff has allowed the organization to build capable leadership. Hence, the organization nurtures future leadership, which lays the foundation for organizational success. The ability of the organization lies in the efforts of the current leaders to reenergize and renew efforts (National Urban League, 2015). The existence of precepts of transformational leadership is a significant contribution to the success of leaders. Consequently, leaders have managed to produce a strong strategic direction within the organization and mobilize efforts of a plethora of partners and donors.
The leader interviewed for this project is the assistant director of the organization whose task is to empower poor African Americans and alleviate poverty. The leader demonstrates great passion for African Americans who experience extreme poverty mostly in the slums. He possesses the attributes of a true leader with charisma. As a result, he dedicates most of his time to delivering what they lost from their troubles. In the organization, he makes significant leadership decisions in the interest of many who require deliverance from extreme poverty.
As an assistant director, the leader works collaboratively with the rest of the management in ensuring focused functioning of the civil rights organization. In addition, he drives the organization towards performance excellence by initiating programs and projects. He ensures the organization realizes the targeted goals and other objectives. His leadership position allows the leader to provide input in the creation of organization-wide strategies and policies. These policies and strategies guide the organization towards achieving its mission of improving the living standards of needy families.
He is a pastor who assists most of these people to redirect individual choices and become more self-reliant in the economic sense. He leads a congregation at the New Birth Holy church. Hence, he emerges among the leaders with a spiritual background. Apart from providing spiritual leadership, he guides on the matters relating to global and local leadership. The leader helps people in poor neighborhoods become more independent in their lives by providing avenues for advancing their education.
The leader is a salient, resilient, and focused individual driven towards bringing a change to the less fortunate. He has positively inspired individuals in the poorest neighborhoods, provided helpful avenues and transformed them into economically self-reliant individuals. He has a deep hope that his activities impart this element to the despairing lives of poor people. The caring and responsible nature of this leader contributes to his ability to introduce a change in poor and neglected neighborhoods. He works not for a personal reward, but the interests of the needy in the society. He cares for everyone without exceptions and does not discriminate people regardless of their social status. He is a guiding force for many in the African American society through the organization and the church. Just like most leaders, he is married with four children. As a head pastor, this leader is an advocate for spiritual uprightness and upbringing as a foundation to self-discovery and awareness.
The leader launched a GED program in the New Birth Holy Temple. The program has enabled the leader to positively transform even more lives in the African American society. The leader utilizes his church to influence followers to assist less privileged families within the society. The leader persuaded church members and well-wishers to contribute to the course by providing basic supplies for needy households. He has directed the assistance of needy households and children in the form basic supplies, educational sponsorships, and lighting projects. The leader is big-hearted and charitable, which is a driving force among most people in the organization. He emerges as a person filled with responsibilities not just in the organization, but also in the community and the church.
In the past, the leader assumed other leadership roles. He operated as a coordinator of a youth program. The program dedicated its resources towards preventing deviant teenagers from getting engaged in crime. It demonstrates the leader has climbed the leadership ladder through a combination of personal dedication, hard work, and passion towards transforming the society. The program achieved success and the leader became the assistant director of the organization due to his leadership efficiency.
In his current position, the leader has demonstrated management capabilities by facilitating change in the Griffin Heights area. The leader is slowly transforming the neighborhood into a better place by planning and addressing issues related to unemployment, adult education, student sponsorship, and proactive housing (Dobson, 2015). His management capabilities reflect in the form of projects that the leader has developed, managed, and successfully implemented with a positive impact on African American communities. In the previous position of a coordinator of a youth program, the leader allocated and managed project resources successfully. He managed funds for this project and even assisted youths to start several income-generating businesses.
In addition, he engaged actively in monitoring the project, which provided project feedback. The leader utilized this feedback analytically and developed a blueprint, which now informs new youth projects at the national level. The leader’s management capabilities consist in the capacity to manage projects concomitantly and achieve positive results. Unlike most public managers, the negative self-image associated with pubic managers is not a constraining factor for this leader (Cohen, Eimicke, & Heikkila, 2013). He does not allow any constraint to undermine his work. In addition, the leader strives to eliminate constraints in management and records good performance. The leader pursues complex social problems and provides solutions instead of blaming nonperformance for the existence of constraints (Cohen, Eimicke, & Heikkila, 2013). The leader achieves success through adequate and careful planning within the organization. In public organizations, effective managers emerge as people who take caution and engage in a careful review of their actions to determine the expected consequences (Cohen, Eimicke, & Heikkila, 2013). In this regard, the interviewed leader is an effective public manager owing to his quick decisions and accurate assessment of project outcomes.
The leader has demonstrated his leadership capabilities through various actions, more importantly through leading a change and bearing a vision for the Griffin Heights neighborhood. In 2014, the leader assumed the role of a leader and a mediator after several cases of police-related shootings and gun violence (Dobson, 2015). He brought several stakeholders together in a bid to address these police-related shootings and provided a venue for the meeting in his church. The meeting also aimed at addressing violent crimes within the Griffin Heights community along with other social issues. The leader’s drive led to a series of follow-up meetings. The leader demonstrates problem-solving capabilities according to the way he handles emerging issues. He involves other proactive stakeholders in working out solutions. In addition, the leader trusts in collaborative efforts, which makes him unique because most leaders like to keep all the power and authority.
Despite a low turnout, the leader persevered because of the deep commitment he holds in leading change and transforming the community. Exceptional leadership drive is evident from the actions of this leader because he has a great hope for others. The leader’s commitment is incomparable and unique considering the number of initiatives that he runs throughout Griffin Heights and beyond at the national level (Dobson, 2015). However, most people refuse to participate in new initiatives. Unlike such people and leaders, the interviewee constantly introduces new projects, which demonstrates the uniqueness of his actions as a leader in the contemporary society.
The leadership skills of the interviewed leader are evident in his ability to create relationships with law enforcement, elected officials, and community members. The undying support is a great tool for the implementation of new initiatives in the immediate community. As a pastor, the leader has worked collaboratively with other pastors and their congregations (Dobson, 2015). The leader has also initiated significant support for his cause. Consequently, the leader has facilitated the process of transforming young people in the Griffin Heights neighborhood into productive individuals. The leader utilizes relationships to create powerful collaborative networks. He understands the importance of establishing and maintaining healthy relationships, which is a vital characteristic of a brilliant leader.
The interviewed leader displays passion for the cause of his organization and combines it with self-drive with a significant positive impact. He invents new initiatives for meeting the needs of poor neighborhoods and seeks out relationships and followers to implement such plans. The leader invents new approaches to assist the less fortunate in the society, but success mostly comes from inner drive. The interviewed leader is a source of most community projects targeting education, poverty, unemployment, and crime alleviation (Dobson, 2015). The leader demonstrates a clear understanding of social problems and considers inadequate education as a constraining factor. The leader considers inadequate education to be contributing to unemployment and high crimes rates (Dobson, 2015).
In a bid to assist young people, the leader listened to the cries of most people and came up with a new initiative. The initiative provided people with the opportunity to earn a GED in order to expand their horizon and allow them become qualified employees (Dobson, 2015). The new initiative is a long-term move for realizing economic self-reliance in Griffin Heights. It is among the many initiatives that the leader has introduced in a bid to improve the lives of young adults and their families. It might become a foundation for making changes and improving the overall status of most people in poor neighborhoods. The GED program is a new initiative combines relationships with stakeholders and the actions of an upbeat leader.
The leader’s drive and charisma are evident in the manner he handled matters pertaining to the GED program. Unlike most public managers, the interviewed leader took an effort of going door-to-door seeking candidates and support for GED classes (Dobson, 2015). In addition, unlike most managers, the interviewed leader is approachable and open to followers, which contributes to constructive relationships (Upstiur-Myies, 2007). The leader exhibits a soft spot for his followers, which is unlikely for most people in a leadership positions.
In his leadership capacity, the leader managed to seek out approximately 60 people who showed interest in the GED program (Dobson, 2015). Even though not all of them turned up for the classes, the interviewed leader thought positivity. In an attempt to reach out and enroll more committed applicants, the leader called upon his followers to assist. He demonstrates concern for the well-being of his followers and considers each person worthy of leading a better life.
Unlike most leaders, the interviewee demonstrated a unique attribute. The leader asked for the opinion of others instead of imposing an idea without consultation. The leader maintains leader-follower interactions, which are build trust and healthy relationships (Chong & Wolf, 2010). The extended support from the Tallahassee community and the followers of his cause to improve several neighborhoods might allow the leader to achieve TCC’s targets and acquire full support (Dobson, 2015). The leader demonstrates that dealing with special situations requires the existence of healthy interactions with the relevant stakeholders.
The leadership capabilities also reflect in the initiation of The Frontline Project. The leader has reached out to approximately 35 pastors of churches in poor neighborhoods to garner support (Searcy, 2015). He has also initiated a campaign targeting to garner financial pledges and support for the project in order to improve Griffin Heights and other neighborhoods. The leader also displays a careful evaluation of the underlying issues in Griffin Heights and considers the expected outcomes.
He views the GED program as a milestone and a flicker of hope towards bringing a change to the community. This leader has foresight, which is a great tool for forecasting or predicting future outcomes (Northouse, 2013). The leader utilizes a mixture of past and present evaluations to predict future outcomes as in case of the GED program. He considers providing education to young adults and other people to be the foundation for transforming poor neighborhoods into prosperous regions. Therefore, by introducing the GED program, the leader is advancing the vision of creating a better community with a low unemployment rate.
The leader believes he could have utilized his leadership capabilities to stop cases of police-related shootings and gun violence. The leader would have utilized his influence in the neighborhood and unearthed the crisis before they even transpired. In addition, he further expressed that he could have launched educational programs on gun violence as a part of the leadership council to prevent cases of shootings. The leader expressed that launching these educational programs earlier could have influenced the outcomes positively. Therefore, the programs could have had a preventive impact on gun violence.
One specific behavior that is a contributing factor to the success of the interviewed leader is a sense of vision. The leader possesses a strong sense of vision focused on transforming lives (Mendenhall et al., 2013). The leader receives adequate support from other leaders and followers within the community and the organization. He appears self-aware and acts as a role model in the area of community change (Mendenhall et al., 2013). The success of this leader is associated with a clear communication of the outcomes projected after implementing a change. The leader envisions the end result of an economically self-reliant community.
Effective communication of the end result is one reason the leader has managed to garner substantial support from community leaders, law enforcement, and followers in general. In addition, the leader exhibits passion for his work with an undying self-drive. The passion and self-drive made the leader source support from government agencies with greater success. For instance, passion is a factor that has made the leader garner support for the GED program by knocking on people’s doors and communicating the good news from TCC (Dobson, 2015). A sense of determination allows the leader to always achieve commendable results, thus contributing to the success of his projects.
Unlike most public managers, the leader takes initiatives even on the grimmest projects, but passion and determination always yield results. The leader observes problems and thinks of long-term solutions, which have a greater effect (Mendenhall et al., 2013). Problem-solving capabilities have seen the leader introduce new initiatives set to bring a societal change in poor neighborhoods. The persistent nature of this leader is a contributing factor to his success. Instead of giving up on projects, the leader pushes on and in the end, he manages to remove resistance to change. The leader mostly experiences blind resistance to change from community members, but he takes an extra attempt to convince these people by focusing on the expected benefits.
The leader’s approach to management is another factor contributing to the success of his project. He adopts participative management where he actively involves community members, leaders, and other stakeholders. As a result, he evokes a sense of collective responsibility and ownership of the project. Another specific behavior is the use of relationships to create avenues for change. These relationships have contributed significantly to the concentration of efforts with the supportive networks, providing easier access to resources. However, the element of trust is a contributing factor to these strong relationships. The leader has managed to build trust not just among followers, but also community leaders, law enforcement, pastors, and other agencies.
The leader is a great motivation to many people. He inspires and continually encourages many people. The leader is a true believer in change and communicates to people about his life in Griffin Heights. He encourages and inspires those determined to change and even the resistant ones to attempt certain behaviors that might add to their lives. The leader is a good and effective manager and leader who has contributed significantly to project success. He demonstrates effective leadership and management capabilities, which have enabled him to manage and lead change. He demonstrates sensitivity to people’s concerns and flexibly handles problems. In addition, foresight is another specific behavior the leader exhibits. Foresight allows the prediction or estimation of the expected outcomes of the project.
The leadership theories that explain the reason the above-mentioned behaviors contribute to success are situational leadership, servant leadership, transformational leadership, and charismatic leadership theories. The context and environment contribute partially to understanding behaviors that led to success. The relationship-oriented behaviors interact with the unique leader’s traits to contribute to leadership effectiveness (Andersen, 2010). However, the leader also demonstrates unwavering persistence and self-drive despite the situation, which contributes to success. The leader’s ability to place the interests of those he serves first is a contributing factor to his success. He demonstrates commitment, passion, empathy, as well as stewardship, which contributes to personal and professional success (Northouse, 2013). In addition, the leader also exhibits thoughtfulness, charisma, inspiration, and intellectual stimulation, which makes him a transformational leader (Judge, Woolf, Hurst, & Livingston, 2006).
The leader’s style is a fusion of several leadership approaches although the most evident is transformational leadership with charisma. The actions of this leader and capacity to create hope, building mutual trust, and relationship demonstrate his grip on transformational leadership (Judge, Woolf, Hurst, & Livingston, 2006). For instance, the leader has transformed people living in poor neighborhoods by providing educational programs and sponsorships. In addition, the leader has proactively built networks and relationships based on shared trust with the objective of transforming Griffin Heights. However, the leader is relationship-oriented and demonstrates substantial elements of servant leadership. He puts the community’s interests first and exhibits undying commitment towards serving these people (Van Dierendonck, 2011).
The greatest strengths of the interviewed leader are passion, self-drive, determination, charisma, and the desire to transform people, their families, and lives. He has strength to cherish hope for the less fortunate and inspire followers to implement changes within the society. However, his greatest weakness as a leader is over-optimism on change projects, strategies, and people. Nevertheless, the weakness turns out to be a strong point in the long-run because the leader manages to eliminate blind resistant to change.
The leader often faces ethical dilemmas when parents or relatives disapprove the sponsorship of students to predominantly white neighborhoods. Such sponsorships trigger considerable heat among relatives and parents in African American neighborhoods. The tension results from considerable exposure to racism or racial epithets in such schools. However, the sponsorship creates a one-time chance for a young person to progress educationally and probably contribute positively to community development.
The leader can improve effectiveness in his organization by recognizing mistakes in each project and learning new approaches of dealing with these issues in the future. The leader should record constraints in each program, evaluate sources of these constraints and develop solutions. He should review the constraints and provide a personal summary in order to prevent the emergence of such constraints in future projects. The plan of action is efficient because it ensures the leader identifies common problems in change projects and utilizes insight to prevent future occurrences. The plan is feasible because the leader always experiences faults in the implementation of any project and can effectively identify constraints. The plan is ethical because it does not break any ethical principle.
The leader can improve leadership by establishing a team of knowledgeable individuals within the organization. The team can facilitate the process of change in poor neighborhoods and provide support on issues involving young adults or teenagers. The leader should recruit inspired young people to his team in order to provide guidance on projects targeting young people. The team should contain individuals who have risen out of poor neighborhoods through various initiatives introduced by the organization. The recruitment process should consider self-drive, determination, inspiration, and hard work. The plan is feasible because a team of young people can cause breakdown events from the standpoint a teenager prior to project design and implementation. The plan is efficient because introducing a successful group of young people can inspire others into joining projects that might advance their lives. The plan demonstrates ethical conduct because it does not have negative moral implications.
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The leader might consider involving more people in his change efforts and transformation of poor neighborhoods, including working closely with other nonprofit organizations. The process should involve interacting with and harnessing the power of young community leaders and small outreach organizations at the grassroots. The leader should make connections with such organizations and their leaders because of their ability to mobilize young people. The leader should assign help to bring these organizations together to community members who have access. Thereafter, the leader can arrange meetings and forge constructive alliances. The plan is efficient because it requires collaborative efforts to reach out deep in a community and effect change without much resistance. The plan is feasible because poor neighborhoods have outreach groups and organizations operating within to bring a particular change. Collaborative and concerted efforts work better than a single organization or outreach groups. The plan is ethical in nature because it does not introduce any negative moral issues in the community.
In addition, proper and effective communication of change initiatives might assist in improving leadership effectiveness. The leader should implement networks that allow easier communication of new initiatives within the community. The introduction of a program tasked with communicating a new initiative can achieve the role. In addition, the leader can improve communication by seeking out partnerships with media stations. Consequently, the leader can communicate new initiatives on television and radio networks, thus prompting effectiveness of projects. The plan is efficient because most people might not obtain new information by word-of-mouth. Media stations provide a channel for communicating change efforts. It is feasible because the organization is nonprofit, and most media stations embrace positive change efforts. The plan is ethical because it communicates positive and transformative community projects, which has no negative ethical implications.
The leader might consider adequate consultation prior to the introduction of new initiatives. The consultations can contribute significantly to ensuring decisions to introduce new initiatives are not rushed. The leader should hold meetings with all relevant stakeholders and consult on the implementation of new initiatives. The consultations yield important implementation ideas with each authority, providing support in a particular way. In addition, consultations can yield financial pledges, which might enhance the success of particular programs. The plan of action is efficient because consultations ensure stakeholders evaluate and address problems that might emerge beforehand. It is feasible because the leader is influential with the community and can request various stakeholders to attend consultation meetings. The plan of action is ethical because the consultations have no negative consequences on the community.
Additionally, the leader might consider introducing or launching comprehensive programs. The leader should consider introducing one program at a time to eliminate cases of divided attention and abandonment of certain projects. The leader can achieve greater outcomes by introducing comprehensive programs within the community. These programs should constitute several smaller projects to improve management and prevent abandonment. Furthermore, the integration of several projects can facilitate the aggregation of individual efforts and expand the chance of acquiring adequate financial support. The plan is efficient because concentrating project efforts can yield better outcomes. Consequently, management and leadership become easier. The plan is feasible because the leader just needs to combine small projects with related objectives. The plan is ethical because it does not trigger ethical concerns in the community.