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Preparing Leaders in Human Services
Deborah Harley-McClaskey

JOHNSON CITY – A new book by an East Tennessee State University faculty member prepares those working in the human services professions for future leadership roles.

Written by Dr. Deborah Harley-McClaskey, “Developing Human Services Leaders” instructs students and professionals on the required skills and behaviors needed for managing their teams and organizations, as well as themselves.  The book is now available for ordering from SAGE Publishing.

“The human services industry sees a lot of turnover, and often there are men and women who are relatively new to the profession who suddenly find themselves in leadership roles,” said Harley-McClaskey, a professor of Teaching and Learning in the Clemmer College of Education. “The purpose of my book is to help prepare them for those early and mid-level positions of leadership.”

Harley-McClaskey says she used a “Reflection-Diagnosis-Prescription” approach to organizing the content.  The chapters provide an opportunity for readers to first examine each leadership concept and then assess their strengths and weaknesses on the subject.  From there, they will apply a prescription based on theories and concepts to improve any deficiencies.

The reader will move through content areas on both self-management and organizational management. Chapter topics include an overview of leadership within the human services professions; theories of leadership and management; understanding self and managing conflict; attitude, values, ethics and trust; team building; management and motivation; decision-making; running an effective meeting; vision, mission and strategic planning; project management; processes, growth measures and performance excellence; communication and listening; multicultural leadership; social entrepreneurship; politics and influence; and collaboration.

The final chapter, titled “Prognosis,” helps readers make a plan to affect personal change to grow new leadership skills, she said.

SAGE Publishing notes how Harley-McClaskey’s book has a unique focus on both team-building and self-reflection and also uses human services “speak” by translating common business terminology to make the material applicable to the readers.

Michael Forster from the University of Southern Mississippi wrote, “‘Developing Human Services Leaders’ is a highly accessible yet thorough introduction to the manifold skills required at all levels in today’s human service organizations.  An impressive balance of evidence-based theory and practical, learner-centered application animates the text.”

 The book can be ordered by visiting

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