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Leadership in Human Services

One of the truisms of organizations is that they will always perform better when their leadership is of top quality. This of course is also true of Human Services organizations, where good leadership can take an average organization and make it exceptional. Some people are natural born leaders and others become incredible leaders through diligence and hard work. For those who feel the call to enter the Human Services field in a management or leadership role there are many routes to success. Another element of leadership in Human Services is where leadership can have its largest impact and that is in rural and urban poor areas where making ends meet and getting the most out of limited resources matters the most. By striving to acquire a top-shelf educational experience and honing ones natural skills and talents, the aspiring Human Services leader can help to shape their organization into a well-oiled machine.

There are a number of legitimate paths towards joining a management team in Human Services. For Mental Health related organizations a wise route to take is that of earning your Ph.D. in Psychology as this will give you the knowledge and authority to understand how a Mental Health organization will be run. If you are working in the private sector, a Masters of Business Administration is always a viable strategy. For those working in Social Work earning your Masters or Ph.D. in Social Work is the best route. If you are unsure what sort of organization you wish to work in, perhaps the wisest course would be to enter a Human Services Leadership program and earn your Master’s degree. There are a number of other degrees that could serve you well such as a Ph.D. in Sociology or a Master’s of Non-Profit Management. There are severable viable ways you can earn appropriate credentials depending on the kind of organization you hope to work in.

In addition to the kind of organization you wish to join you may want to spend some time considering the kind of area you wish to work in geographically speaking. The four main choices are well funded urban and rural organizations or areas in greater need such as poor urban or rural locations. If you prefer to have access to large amounts of resources you will definitely want to plan on working in some of the wealthier urban areas or the less common well-heeled rural areas. However, if you wish to have the greatest potential impact, but often considerably higher responsibility, you may want to consider working in a rural or urban area that is impoverished. The need in these areas for Human Services is usually substantially greater than in their wealthier counterparts. The resources in poorer areas are also considerably fewer. This lends itself well to those who want to help the greatest number of people per capita and also who prefer to overcome challenges and make less go further. Not everyone will flourish in less than ideal circumstances, but for some the challenge and satisfaction provided by going to where the need is greatest will outweigh the benefits of better funded organizations. Everyone will of course need to consider their own personal motivations, skills and natural talents as they evaluate what kind of education they wish to pursue as well as what sort of organization and the area in which it is located as all three choices will have a significant impact on their career arc.

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