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This page is updated on 2006-07-27 12:04
Christian Service News
Issue 41 (Oct 2003)
Chief Executive's Column
What Does It Take
To Be Leaders in Social Welfare Agencies Today?
Chief Exectuive
NG Shui Lai

Needs in the community are increasing; social problems are becoming complicated; expectation for service quality is getting higher; demand on accountability is growing stronger; competition among service providers is more acute than ever; resource has become extremely restricted. For a social welfare agency to operate successfully under the circumstances described above, what kind of leadership is needed?

Traditionally, it is a basic requirement and a preference for social service agencies chief executives to have backgrounds of social work credentials. Now facing a changing environment; however, it has become increasingly common for agencies to demand that their chief executives and senior staff possess certain level of managerial competencies in addition to their social work qualifications. Recently one agency even goes so far as to specifically state that the candidates who apply for its chief executive position must present a strong management background while there is no mentioning of any social work credentials.

Certainly, managerial competency is an essential quality among senior management in social welfare agencies in order to effectively handle new challenges. Notwithstanding the significance of being proficient in strategic planning, management in human resources, finance and alike, more importantly; however, leaders of social welfare agencies must have visions for social development, compassion toward human sufferings, courage to advocate social justice and commitment to stand along with the minority groups.

An able manager is undoubtedly an asset to an agency; yet a leader with vision is what it takes to achieve its mission even in a volatile environment.


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