This paper will provide an overview of a nonprofit organization based in

This paper will provide an overview of a nonprofit organization based in Tennessee. It will provide a description of the organization, effects of current leadership, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and current threats. This writing will also provide recommendations to the leader of the organization. A1. Organization Description YV is a non profit treatment facility for youth founded in 1986. Most known for residential treatment campuses which can provide service up to ninety youth per campus. The organization also offers foster care, adoption, community based, mentoring, Life Set, and crisis services. YV started off with one small location and now has expanded tremendously expanding to sixteen states. This organization specializes in treating youth with intellectual disabilities, problem sexual behaviors, emotional disturbances, extreme, and defiant behaviors. They serve both boys and girls all in a safe and supportive environment. YV frontline staff consists of counselors, nurses, recreational staff, dietary, teacher assistants, teachers, and clinical staff. Each department has direct supervisors and managers, Assistant Directors, and Campus Directors. Upper management consist of Regional Directors, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Medical Director, Chief Executive Officer, and Board of Directors. The main goal of YV is to help children and families live successfully. Leadership oversees that the core values are ethically and effectively being upheld as it relates to the organization mission. The organization is accredited by The Joint Commission. YV offers a therapeutic approach which includes group, individual, family, and recreation therapy. On campus education and round the clock medical services are available. Face to face psychiatric consultation, vision, pediatrics, and dental services are onsite. Another goal of the organization is to meet the needs of our youth. In the past the CEO was recognized as one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Reports.A2. Three Leadership Practices In describing the leadership practices I will be focusing on the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO can be classified as being task oriented according to Fielder’s Contingency Theory. The main focus are the needed tasks to be perform in order to achieve goals and meet performance standards. The first leadership practice the CEO displays is authentic leadership. These individuals are consistent with higher ethical values by staying true to those values and beliefs opposed to following the majority. The CEO is always looking for ways to improve the organization and is not afraid to take risks during the process. He encourages collaboration and other viewpoints while helping staff to learn and grow as leaders. He often challenges his staff to provide the highest quality services to not only the kids, but the parents and other entities involved. Secondly, the CEO displays interactive leadership practices by building and relying on relationships rather than position. He always seems to be transparent when sharing information as it related to the direction he has for the organization. He interacts with all levels of staff and values your feedback. Most employee feel a sense of trust and appreciation. When onsite visiting he always thanks the staff and acknowledges a job well done. He will even visit at nights and on weekends which goes a long way with those staff. Thirdly, the CEO displays servant leadership practices by displaying empathy, awareness, foresight, commitment, and stewardship. A servant leader wants to serve others and that’s what his organization encompasses. The CEO started out with a handful of staff and youth, but as he recognized the need for services for at risk youth he made a commitment to serve at a greater capacity. For example, every year the company has a campaign for employees to give a desired amount back to the company to the department of their choice. The company also has 5K and 10K raises which raises money for entities of the organization like transitional living. During these raises teams are formed and the team with highest contribution is acknowledged. Each year thus far it is always the CEO. He has created a standard of excellence for his staff to follow. A3. Affects of Current Leadership The CEO has always believed in leading by example. The culture of the company has been geared towards helping children and families live successfully. He recognized it takes a team approach to get this task complete. During the early days of employment this mentality is instilled in new hires. You learn how your job and skill set is important to the organization to achieve the overall goal. Upon completion of orientation you complete an additional 80 hours of orientation. The goal is to equip new staff with training to deliver the exceptional client care. The CEO even drops in at the end of orientation to give his well wishes.B. SWOT Analysis B1. Strengths One of the strengths YV possess is that it has been around for over twenty five years. The residential campuses are the core of the organization as they service youth and families from across the United States. Therefore, it’s important for the designated leaders of those campuses to perform at the maximum level. The management team is built with leaders who possess the same aim as the CEO. The structure of the team is identical at each campus which is a Director, Assistant Director, Program Managers, Nurse Manager, Clinical Manager, and Supervisors. Directors meet weekly with upper leadership and has biweekly meeting with their direct management team to provide information as needed. At the end of each month Managers are required to complete a report which entails all major events occurring on campus like youth injuries, staff injuries, missed appointments, missed medications, self-harming events, etc. This information is discussed between the campus management team then taken to the Directors meeting to compare across all the campuses we serve to review any trends and make any needed revisions. The CEO is present during these weekly Directors meetings. Communication is open and frequent as changes occur quickly as they affect day to day operations. Secondly, the population YV is able to serve and the services they offer is another strength. This organization offers services which other facilities alike in nature does not. YV provides treatment for youth from as far as Wisconsin and Indiana. Upon admission youth receive individual and group therapy session. Therapy is intense and difficult, but the children are supported while working through it and is an essential component in recovering. Many of these youth come from dysfunctional homes or have disrupted foster care placements. Not only do they receive therapy, but they are able to attend school and are assisted with credit recovery. Some youth are admitted who haven’t seen a medical, vision, or dental provider in years. YV is able to meet all those needs including specialty consults as needed. Efforts are made so the children are prepared for discharge to become successful members of society. B2. Weaknesses YV is a successful organization, but the foster care services have some weaknesses. The goal is to return the youth to the home setting whether it’s family or a foster family. Once a placement option is identified YV works with the family to equip them with the tools to be successful with the child. On many instances immediate family is not a viable placement thus resulting in foster care placement of the youth. This is were the problem presents as there are not enough placement homes for the youth in need. Many foster homes prefer younger children, so the older children remain on the waiting list. This is an issue that exists with foster care throughout the state. Once a potential home is identified day and weekend passes are allowed with the family in an attempt to see if it’s a good fit. There are some homes that will accept older youth, but after a few months it ends in disruption. The youth struggle at times when in foster homes with rules or reintegration into the community which results to readmittance back into residential treatment until another placement option is available. Another weakness is the continuum option that’s included in the contractual agreement with the state. It basically states if a kid leaves and disrupts their current placement they have the option to return to residential treatment. Some youth are so conditioned to the residential setting they prefer to stay instead of returning to the community. Many youth are houses until they age out at 18. At that the youth can sign themselves out or the state tries to find adult placement. It’s very disheartening to know a child can leave a place not knowing what’s next in their life. Going from a structured environment to none at all can be overwhelming. Even though YV attempts to equip the youth with tools to go to the next level its up to them to utilize it. There have been instances shortly after aging out we’ve seen past youth on the news for various crimes. In my opinion this can be attributed to outside support once discharged from the facility. B3. Opportunities YV has the opportunity to impact the young adults who age out of the residential treatment facility. They currently offer a program called LifeSet which is aimed for these youth, but unfortunately it’s not available to all youth. There can be transitional homes placed in the communities for 18-21 year old to continue therapy while transitioning back into the community. They would still have a support system with less restrictions. This could be voluntary and if the young adult felt that they were ready to move on they could do so at anytime. YV also suffers from high turnover due to the population they serve. A lot of staff work 50 or more hours per week. This can be challenging when dealing with children who display behavioral issues. The staff known as the teacher counselors are those who supervise the kids afterschool until they go to bed. This is usually the time when the most aggressive behaviors are exhibited and that staff is responsible for dealing with the crisis. This has the potential for staff fatigue and burnout. This has been an ongoing concern on the agenda of upper management. Developing a crisis team to deal with those challenging behaviors could potentially alleviate some of that stress on staff. Also identifying various skill sets in those employees and potentially finding a better fit within the company would increase retention within the organization. This would also be cost effective as the new hire process is very costly. B4. Threats As mentioned earlier YV services children up to eighteen years of age. There are four different residential facilities locally that specialize in specific behaviors. Some of those youth attend public school which can present as an issue. Many of YV youth are dealing with ongoing issues and even though it may appear as progress on campus the public-school setting may very well be a trigger. This poses as a threat because of potential harm to self or others in the public school setting as the level of monitoring would be different. Community integration is always a potential threat to the organization. Another threat to the organization would be foster care placement. While going through the stages of placing with a foster family everything visit goes well. Unfortunately once discharged and at the home things sometimes change. If the youth aren’t in align with the rules of the home they do things to sabotage the placement. They make accusations against the foster parents because they know this will result in disruption to return to residential treatment. Over the years I’ve seen this done countless times just to be back in residential where they feel comfortable. Regardless if the accusations are founded or not this poses a threat to our foster care parents. It not only puts them at risk, but the other children they may foster as well. C. Leadership EvaluationC1. Strengths When evaluating the primary leader’s leadership style he possesses several. According to Daft there are many leadership theories such as servant, authentic, and interactive leadership. (Daft, 2014). The CEO displays authentic leadership as its noted that “authentic leadership may be rooted in the notion of a true self, it is through the embodiment of that true self that leaders are perceived authentic or not.” (Ladkin & Taylor, 2010, p. 64) He is very transparent in his role and no hidden agenda is apparent. There is a sense of trust between him and his employees and they are kept abreast of ongoing changes. This style has allowed him to grow the organization into what it is today. Relationship building is one of the biggest aspects of authentic leadership. Since I’ve been a part of this organization I’ve seen the CEO personally invest in his employees. He shows concern with not only his employees on the business side, but personal as well. He encourages you to have a work life balance by basically forcing you to use vacation time or lose it. This is a huge focus of his and beneficial to the employees to prevent burnout. Company and team morale is also an important factor in productivity. When you work for an organization that shares the same vision as you it makes you want to be apart of the team. Working for YV is considered by many to be joining an elite team. It is composed of many types of people from various walks of life who share the goal of improving the lives of our youth. Altruism describes us best as the sky is the limit when people stand together to help each other. This is what it takes to help children and families live successfully. “If the leader is in a positive mood, that spreads an upbeat mood to others and that collective positivity enhances group performance”. (Goleman, 2011, p. 12)C2. WeaknessesCompared to the other leadership theories authentic leadership has the least amount of weaknesses. Those some view as strengths can also be viewed as weaknesses. The CEO has his managers trained to groom employees for leadership roles early on. This is a great aspect for some, but not for all. Some people are destined to be leaders while others are content with working on the team behind the scenes. They perform at that job and have no desire to be on the frontline. Sometimes responsibilities are put on a person not because they desire to lead, but because someone else believes they possess the quality. As a result, this could result in employee turnover as the tasks are unwanted by the staff. Its also written that high self esteem is a trait authentic leaders possess. This trait can be viewed as a weakness as it can interfere with rational business decisions and add additional stress to employees. All employees can’t weather the storm and will leave at the first sign of trouble. When employees views tasks as overwhelming this usually results in decreases in retention. Lastly, when reviewing the leadership style of the CEO is his tenacity. As the organization continues to expand there is a need for qualified employees and leadership. It’s a process to train leaders and with the rate of growth experienced by the company the organization may have a difficult time keeping up with demand. Not only the demand for leaders, but staff in general. Each residential facility has a waitlist of children awaiting placement. YV is in the process of opening yet another campus facility which is projected to accommodate seventy-two youth. Now the task at hand is adequately staffing the campus with qualified staff. C3. Recommendations A true leader must be able to see through the current position of the company and envision the future of the company. What can the company become? The leader must be a visionary who can make changes for the betterment of the company. In order to maximize success of the organization I will list three recommendations below. The CEO has achieved the art of leadership and delegation. “A leader is leaderless unless one has followers willing to lead”. (Daft, 2014) If a leader has followers willing to lead it’s not a bad idea to let those followers who are well equip to lead. This would allow the CEO to focus more on the expansion and betterment of the organization. Secondly, as it relates to the servant theory allows the leader to provide service to others without searching for self reward. This leadership practice is linked to ethics, virtues, and morality”. (Parris & Peachy, 2013, p. 377) The servant theory is in search of the betterment of the organization instead of one’s self. This theory also has the potential to increase work satisfaction by producing motivated staff. Lastly, the last theory I would recommend is transformational. This theory allows room for change and structure within organizations. The CEO has a formula that is used across the organization. In this organization roles, responsibilities, and tasks are clear and if followed day to day operations run smoothly. Using the transformational leadership practice the organization has the potential to see innovative changes within the organization. C4. Scholarly Sources “Within a group passive followers agree and go along with the flow just because they think this is the group’s view according to Kellerman, Bryant, and Gibbons. “Conformist followers will actively support any group decision and act on it as they don’t have the independent level of thinking required to consider the options”. (Kellerman, Bryant, and Gibbons, 2013, p. 8) The CEO ability to lead reflects the opposite of modern culture to overlook the role and importance of followership. According to Heskett servant leadership is rarely experienced because of trends in the leadership environment, the scarcity of human qualities required, demands that the practice places on the practitioner, and the very nature of the practice itself. Heskett believes that this leadership practice is effective, but rarely used. The culture at YV embodies the servant theory in believing the job consists of making a difference in the lives of the youth we serve. The CEO has learned to trust, inspire, and energize his employees over the years. He leads by example as it relates to his vision for the organization. “Transformational leaders inspire, energize, and intellectually stimulate their employees”. (Bass, 2014, p.19) The CEO continued success will be based on continuous effective leadership practices.

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