Stories about ASD

ASD Roadmap

Where are the Leaders?

July 28, 2017


Almost every program seeking to expand or improve themselves learns an important lesson:  there is no natural pipeline for creating new leaders, especially those capable of more significant program change.  Indeed, the lack of experienced leaders is one of the biggest gaps we face in increasing our capacity for better services and training (Doehring, 2013). Even just the decision to post for a leader or the posting itself can predict whether a launch will fizzle.

And should you need a new leader, what specific qualities should your consider when interviewing candidates? It is easy to underestimate the many skills needed to design and successfully launch a successful program.  And in many cases, the final candidates are unlikely to possess all of these skills. So a detailed assessment of the skills and experience required not only helps in selecting the perfect candidate, but in tailoring supports and expectations to the skills and experience less-than-perfect candidates are likely to bring.  In this section, I list the specific qualities those seeking to recruit a new leader should consider when evaluating candidates, depending on whether they are striving for expansion and improvement, or innovation and transformation.  In most cases, this includes solutions when candidates appear to fall short of the qualities desired. Throughout these pages, I include Warning Signs in leadership that could suspend or abort a launch, and All Clear Signs in leadership that could help to re-start a launch.

The logo is adapted from Joaquim Alves Gaspar's drawing of Pedro Reinel's compass rose.


My Presentations and Publications

(2013). Autism Services Across America: Roadmaps for Improving State and National Education, Research, and Training Programs. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD


Other Lessons There is no natural pipeline of leaders trained and experienced in undertaking comprehensive program development