Problems and Issues The National Leadership Consortium will Address
A national focus on leadership for disability organizations is needed for a number of important reasons. First, the types of services being provided to adults with developmental disabilities are shifting radically and a new skill-set is required for heads of agencies that provide quality, values-based services. Second, because most community disability agencies were established forty years or more ago, at a time when institutions were downsizing and community-based services were beginning to be recognized as more humane and effective, a great number of these organizations are losing their founders or executive directors to retirement. There is not a pool of new leaders to fulfill these roles. Finally, the field has much to learn about the specific skills and values future leaders will need in order to continue to support people in respectful and effective ways, how to identify potential nonprofit and government leaders early in their careers, and how to mentor and support the development of leadership abilities in these emerging leaders. Research and leadership development are needed to identify successful models and strategies to take these to scale nationally.