Chapter 1: The Technical Assistance Process
Leadership To Achieve Change

Leadership requires the capacity to set a course toward a goal and then draw others along the same path through persuasion, influence, and power (Reconnecting Youth and Community: A Youth Development Approach, 1996:8).

Random or unplanned change or inertia in a juvenile corrections program or system can lead to critical problems. If juvenile corrections programs are to meet the needs of youth, victims, and their communities, ongoing change and development usually are required.

Effective change requires leadership. Someone (or a small group of individuals) always has to step forward to provide guidance and direction for change. Leadership provides vision and focus for growth. Strong, confident leaders draw on others' talents and skills and empower them to think creatively (Reconnecting Youth and Community: A Youth Development Approach, 1996:7).

Productive leadership requires sound principles, effective analysis, and a belief that change requires the involvement of others. Leaders must inspire and motivate others. They provide a vision that focuses on the larger picture and on long-term growth and development (Reconnecting Youth and Community: A Youth Development Approach, 1996:7). Several characteristics of effective leadership are described in Table 1:a.

Table 1:a Characteristics for Leadership
Leadership requires courage. Most truly challenging situations demand not only imaginative solutions but also the tenacity to carry them out.

Leadership is not easy, although the results of true leadership make future efforts easier over time.

Leadership requires the ability to listen and an openness to, and respect for, diversity and differences of opinion.

Leadership can feel demanding and isolating but results in a sense of belonging and community.

Leadership requires the ability to put aside personal biases or desires in decisionmaking.

Leadership is the ability to make decisions, live with the consequences, accept the blame, share the credit, and learn from the experience.

Source: Reconnecting Youth and Community: A Youth Development Approach, 1996:7.

It is important to have a designated individual who will be the coordinator for the technical assistance process. Coordination responsibilities may include:

  • Gathering, compiling, and sharing information about the issue being considered.

  • Handling written communications, including the development of a technical assistance request and dissemination of recommendations.

  • Arranging for various logistics during the technical assistance process.

The leader may perform these tasks, or another person may be designated as the coordinator.

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Jurisdictional Technical Assistance Package for Juvenile Corrections Report - December 2000