A leader sets the tone for those they supervise. Having a weak or ineffective leadership style turns what could be a productive organization into one that lacks direction, is chaotic, and fails to live up to its potential. Incompetent central leadership can also cause a power struggle amongst the other remaining team members. Groups seek leadership; when leaders fail to use their powers others will maneuver to use the power left in the void. This can lead to a power-struggle and backstabbing (Morgan, 2007).
Averill, DeWitt, and Zimmer (1978), stated a person is commonly considered less responsible if their actions are interpreted as emotional rather than deliberate. While working for a previous employer as a Case Manager for persons receiving case benefits from social services, a popular and well-liked supervisor failed to provide consistent leadership for those in her unit. Her mood of the day, rather than policy dictated how circumstances were to be handled. Although most situations should be treated on a case-by-case basis, there should and must be a certain set of criteria followed to maintain program integrity. Based on this, as case managers, we assisted our clients based upon past practices; however, we were sometimes called-in to explain our actions. While we were working within the rules, if she felt our actions were not in compliance, we had to defend our decisions. To bolster the direction I took with my own cases, I would often use the supervisors past case actions as a precedent. Without a fair and equitable way to determine who received what, our program tended to rely on subjectivity rather than objectivity. Never quite knowing what was acceptable, even if it was within the rules and regulations, made for a fru...
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...etter leader now – I know what does not work, and strive to always remember the lessons learned from an ineffective, but very nice, supervisor.
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