The dictionary and many leadership experts define leadership as the person or process exerting some kind of influence (social, financial, cultural etc.) to maximize the efforts of many people to achieve a common goal. Leadership is an individual matter that can also be built into the design and culture of an organization.
The most common traits associated with effective leaders, according to existing research:
Traits of effective leadership according to harm reduction leaders:
Leadership always carries the inherent risk of concentrating organizational power in the hands of one or a small group. This can lead to a toxic organizational culture in which leadership is beyond scrutiny and corruption more common.
Organizations without formal leadership, on the other hand, can lack focus, flounder in indecision, and risk being less effective. Informal leadership structures tend to reinforce existing power dynamics and make it hard for organizations to become equitable or effective.
Organizations with effective leadership get more done, in less time, for more people. These organizations are functional, stable, and valued by the communities they serve.
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.
Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation.