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Leadership and Organizational Culture at After School

Using the results you achieved in the How Good Are Your Leadership Skills? self-assessment in Module Four and your own experiences, what do you believe is your leadership style? Is it compatible with the leadership style in your organization? If you had to make significant changes in your organization, which leadership style would you choose?

I scored a 56 on the leadership self-assessment; this score indicates that I am well on my way to becoming a good leader. While I did score a 56 on the leadership self-assessment I disagree with my score; I feel that my score was miscalculated because I did not have the option to leave the questions that did not apply to me blank. I personally feel that a lower score would have been more accurate because while I can lead when it is required of me, it is not a role I feel comfortable in. I do not believe that I have a set leadership style, but if I had to pick one I believe it would be combination of bureaucratic and servant leadership. In my position as an after school counselor it is very important that I ensure all rules are followed for the safety of the children in my group; a rigorous following of rules is a key characteristic of bureaucratic leadership. While it is important to follow the rules it is also vital to my job to meet the needs of the children in my group and to set a good example for them; leading by example and caring about meeting the needs of one’s team are characteristics of servant leadership. I feel that a leadership style that is a combination of both bureaucratic and servant leadership is compatible with the leadership of the aftercare program I work at. It is important to both follow the rules while also providing care to the children. While I am not in a position where I would make changes to the afterschool program I work at, if I was in such a position, I would choose a bureaucratic leadership. Bureaucratic leadership would be the best leadership style to use to make changes to a school district run program because the entire program is run based on rules so it would be important to both respect and use those rules in order to successfully ensure significant change.

Consider the results that you received on all of the self-assessments you have taken so far this term and the culture of your organization. Where are the areas of conflict? How do you work through these conflicts, and what aspects of the culture keep you at the organization?

I work as a counselor at an elementary after school program; the work culture is very different from most work environments because the culture revolves around the children. The program is based on the idea of keeping the children safe, helping them with their educational needs, and letting them have fun in a controlled environment with monitored activities. The leadership of the program work well together and they both care about their employees as individuals. Every three months the counselors are called to the office for an evaluation where we receive feedback on what we are doing well and what areas we need to work to improve.

The only area of conflict is that the leadership favors some of the employees over others based on long standing friendships and family members of the employees who are long standing employees at the school. This is not that big of a problem because they do treat all employees fairly, they just give the employees that they know better more leeway. I am not one of the employees that have been with the program for a long time nor do I have a family member working at the school; this leads me to feel that the employees that do are given too much leeway. I deal with this by simply doing the best job I can do and not worry about how my colleagues do their job. The main reason I stay at my organization is that I enjoy working with children, the hours allow me to complete college work in the morning and at night, the pay is good, and while I feel that I am treated differently than some employees, I do still feel like a valued member of the team.

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