Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

NVAA: Leadership in Victim Services

The study of leadership is recent. Only in the last fifteen years have organizational theorists closely examined qualities of leadership as distinct from qualities of management. Yet throughout history individuals whose actions and accomplishments have inspired people to live honorably, to persevere in personal quests, and to treat others with dignity and respect have been revered. In 1978, James MacGregor Burns, one of the first major theorists on leadership, wrote:

Leadership is leaders inducing followers to act for certain goals that represent the values and the motivations the wants and needs, the aspirations and expectations of both leaders and followers. And the genius of leadership lies in the manner in which leaders see and act on their own and their followers’ values and motivations."

The role of the modern leader has evolved into a process that involves clearly-defined tangible skills and attributes. The requirements for effective
leadership in victim services are developing as rapidly as the discipline itself. In addition to providing leadership in a variety of direct victim assistance programs, victim advocates are heading teams in Attorneys General’s offices, police departments, prosecutors’ offices, and departments of probation and parole. Victim advocates convey their passion and dedication to helping victims to these colleagues some of whom may have little understanding of the cause, may be apathetic towards the mission, or may be nonbelievers.


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