Leadership Manifesto, Essay Example

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Words: 1287

Essay

Changes in communities are constant and uneven; as the socialization patterns of minority groups are changing from one generation to another, their roles, values, cultural identities and leadership attitudes are also diversified. The below study will review the community of illegal Hispanic immigrants in my area, focusing on priorities, group formation patterns, cultural and ethnic identities, as well as the acceptance of responsibilities, leaders and support. Reviewing the emerging new generation’s problems, the leadership skills to support these communities and the socialization patterns of illegal immigrants, their children will be the main focus of the study, with a particular attention to trends, adaptive leadership skills and personal strengths.

Introduction

The communities of illegal Hispanic immigrants has changed in the past five decades, according to Zhou. (1997, p. 64). There are new generations growing up in these migrant sub-cultures, socialized in the American way, still having a strong racial and ethnic identity. According to the 1990 Census (1990), 15 percent of all children in America were the sons or daughters of immigrants. The Latin-American children made up a large proportion of these kids, who are facing challenges of diversity, language, culture and socialization. In order to help the communities succeed, there is a need for an adaptive leadership approach that is inclusive, democratic and is based on an extensive knowledge of the group’s preferences, values and culture. The rise of the second generation, determined by Zhou (1997, p. 64) has several challenges, as well as underlying opportunities that require advanced leaders to support the group. Immigrant integration seems to be the recommended solution by most scholars and community organizations (Singer, 2012, p. 9), however, a leader will need to ensure that communities are able to preserve their culture, traditions, belief and values during the process. While there are several changes the immigrant Hispanic communities in America are undergoing at the moment, there is a the authors must determine the main themes, trends and challenges these groups are facing before identifying the leadership skills needed for targeting the issue.

Changes and Trends in Illegal Hispanic Immigrant Communities

According to the National State Trends Report (2011), there are currently 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. Out of these, more than half of the Immigrants were from Mexico. Singer (2012, p. 10) states that settlement trends have greatly changed in migrant communities. Second-tier metro areas are emerging, therefore, communities where the proportion of foreign-born nationals was historically low experience challenges of migration, while the assimilation process is more complicated for families arriving into the United States. They no longer necessarily join an existing community. The metropolitan areas are the main areas where the economic integration of immigrants takes place: they send their children to school, go to work and take part in the life of the community. Still, there are some immigrants who choose suburban areas for settlement, who are facing challenges of integration.

The main challenge of current Hispanic immigrant communities in the United States is based on the difficulty of integration. This is extremely relevant to illegal immigrants, who are not legally accepted by the state, but still need to integrate on the economic level. These immigrants are among the most vulnerable, with limited language skills, knowledge of the American culture, customs and legal system. Their support is essential to not only national politics, but the economy and society as well. As Niessen (2012, p. 19) states, there are some new focus areas determined by local and federal integration policies: participation, work support, education and citizenship support.

Benner et al. (2005, p. 14) summarizes the challenges facing illegal immigrant workers. According to the author, the main problems arise from the lack of education, documentation, exposure to discrimination and understanding the system of the new country. Further, illegal immigrant workers are extremely vulnerable to employers offering below minimum hourly rate jobs.

Leadership Challenges

O’Hagan (2009, p. 3.)  talks about the contemporary challenges of traditional leadership approaches. Comparing conventional and new leadership, approaches, in relation with mental health support. O’Hagan (2009, p. 7) conclude the main leadership skills, advantages and traits needed on an individual level. In order to connect with illegal immigrants, their children and support them in integration, the leader needs to gain trust and commitment. The following analysis is relevant to the current topic, because just like mental health illness and condition survivors, illegal immigrants are hard to approach, communicate with. Further, the article focuses on promoting empowerment and equality as a leader, which is a successful approach towards leadership in minority groups. The following leadership competencies have been identified by O’Hagan (2009, p. 8): being an expert by experience, knowledge of options available, knowledge on how to get the best support out of the system, positive communication and negotiation skills.

Adaptive Leadership Skills to Support Communities

Heifetz et al. (2009, p. 3) state that “adaptation relies on diversity”, therefore, the leadership approach that is built upon collaboration, inclusion and the empowerment of people can be a successful way of dealing with the challenges illegal Hispanic immigrant communities face today. Through empowering people, educating them about the government, system and opportunities provided by the state, the people can be empowered, their economic and political, social integration can be supported. As a person who is an expert by experience in dealing with bureaucracy, discrimination, language and education difficulties, I believe that I understand the problems second generation young immigrants, as well as the socialization problems of their parents, therefore, my empathic and cognitive skills for assessing the complex systems would help me support individuals in the community, gain trust and commitment by showing them the solution in learning, self-development and integration.

Conclusion

While the challenges facing a leader within an illegal Hispanic immigrant community are numerous. They exist on cultural, communication, economic and personal level as well. I believe that education is the best way to empower individuals, and employing an adaptive leadership approach that focuses on the best outcomes for all, quality communication, participation and collaborative learning. My experience in self-development, education, learning of new skills, adapting to new environments and situations would enable me to become a leader within the community, support the integration process of young people, making sure that the first generation is not left behind. This approach would bring not only economic benefits, but also personal and sociological ones. Adaptive challenges require learning, according to Heifetz et al. (2009, p. 8), observation, interpretation of the problems and intervention. As I have already observed the changes of the communities and identified the necessary changes to enable the minority groups within, I believe that my adaptive leadership skills would be beneficial in carrying out programs related to education, learning, integration and community-building, necessary for bettering the lives of individuals within.

References

O’Hagan, M. (2009) Leadership for empowerment and equality:  a proposed model for mental health user/survivor leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Public Services Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2009.

Benner, C., LoPresti, C., Matsuoka, M., Pastor, M., Rosner, R. (2005) A review of issues and strategies for increasing workforce and economic opportunity for immigrant workers.    Center for Justice, Tolerance & Community. April, 2005

Heifetz, R., Grashow, A., Linsky, M. (2009) The Practice of adaptive leadership: tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Harvard Business Press.

Niessen, J. (2012) National Policies and Local Realities in Immigrant Integration.  In: Practice to policy. lessons from local leadership on immigrant integration. Maytree Foundation and Cities of Migration. pp. 19-22

Pew Hispanic Organization. (2011) Unauthorized immigrant population: National and State Trends, 2010 Retrieved from: http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/133.pdf

Singer, A. (2012) Migration and the Metropolis. In: Practice to policy. lessons from local leadership on immigrant integration. Maytree Foundation and Cities of Migration. pp. 9-10.

Zhou, M. (1997)  Growing up American: the challenge confronting immigrant children and children of immigrants. Annu. Rev. Sociol. 1997. 23:63–95

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