Leadership Analysis

Spectrum Academy

Team Paper

Jennifer Daily, Joel Greer, Robin Engel, Zen Benefiel

University of Phoenix

LDR 510

September 29, 2003

Instructor: Ted Szaniawski

Spectrum Academy Leadership Analysis

Spectrum Academy, as a learning organization, uses a holistic systems thinking approach toward education and youth empowerment. Spectrum’s leadership proposes that these three components can work together as one: charter school, residential treatment center (RTC), and community technology center (CTC). The need for implementation of a better approach is obvious to those within the realms of youth service: academic, behavioral, and social. Several leadership models facilitate individual areas of Spectrum Academy. The crafting of their synergy through the transformational leadership of the Co-Directors ought to ensure success.

RTC Leadership

            The RTC’s behavioral leadership approach promotes individuals’ development toward leadership themselves. Research from Ohio State and the University of Michigan concluded that effective leaders tend to have supportive or employee-centered relationships with employees (Kreitner, pg.11). To achieve this, the first assignment given to the student will be to interview individuals from all areas of the school (i.e. from the cafeteria worker to the principal).  Talking to employees will show the students how committed the staff is to the academy’s mission and will help foster interdependence within individuals at the school.  The result will lead to relationships based on trust and respect, which is a common deficit from their past environments.

The counseling services offered in the RTC will show students that others believe in them and are willing to assist them.  Treating others with consideration will be one of the highest priorities of the RTC.   Consideration is the foundation for demonstrating the behavioral style model, exampled by the commitment of staff to the vision and mission, fostering the evolution of the youths’ narcissistic attitudes toward socially acceptable patterns of behavior.


Charter School

The Behavioral style of leadership facilitates shifting youths from the RTC into the charter school area where the Situational Leadership Model becomes the most effective method in the classroom setting.  In a money-based economy, Situational Leadership theory is unsupported by scientific research.  Academic environments more closely resemble a behavioral and even resource-based economy, which is acclimated for situational leadership methodologies. 

In the charter school setting, the students enjoy a slightly increased level of independence than they enjoyed in the RTC.   They are more prepared to accept additional responsibility as the level of trust increases.  The Situational style of leadership is considerably more diverse in nature than most leadership styles.  There is an evolution of staff and student interactions toward greater freedom of expression.  Where the more traditional academic setting has failed for these students, the charter school affords greater opportunity to increase the student’s level of preparedness for successful future societal interaction. 

In the classroom, the staff modifies their approach toward each student exhibits an ability to accept and demonstrate responsibility.  Initially dictating the rules of the class, the staff will move toward a more persuasive approach as the student responds positively, then in a participatory way, and ultimately to shared responsibility between staff and students.  An individualized approach encourages students to progress at accelerated rates where possible.

Community Technology Center

The Path-Goal Theory seems to be the most appropriate model to apply at the CTC level. This is where the work happens, money exchanges, and the bottom line is critical. In other words, since this is the most task-oriented piece in the trinity, it lends itself to the specific definition of accomplishing a goal. Obviously, we have goals and set objectives in all arenas. The CTC goals are more concrete and less nebulous or open to interpretation. Therefore, the leadership/management of the venue requires a goal-oriented style.

             The tasks in the CTC will include accessing existing e-curriculum developers, acquiring those resources, and storing them in the data center and making them available for use. Specific tasks in the CTC range from tasks as expansive in scope as research, sales, and teaching others how to use the technology, to tasks that are routine, such as data entry or accounting. In contrast to the school and the RTC, which require more behavior and situational leadership styles, the Path-Goal Model fits well with the CTC because it includes four distinct styles of leadership that are used according to task, job description, and personality. Those distinct styles are Directive, Supportive, Participative, and Achievement-oriented, further integrating the transformed youths toward active and productive community involvement.

Setting the Pace

Spectrum Academy’s strategic plan denotes three specific areas within the management matrix. These areas include Education (charter school), Commerce (CTC), and Community (RTC). The organizational chart below shows the functional areas and responsibilities.

Organization Chart

The Co-Directors create and hold the vision as charismatic and transformational leaders. Their skill sets include understanding and mastery of strategic planning; educational, personal, organizational development; business administration, and information systems integration across the spectrum. “Charismatic leaders transform followers by creating changes in their goals, values, needs, beliefs, and aspirations. They accomplish this transformation by appealing to followers’ self-concepts – namely, their values and personal identity.” (Kreitner, pg. 47) “Transformational leaders are the brokers of dreams. They shape a strategic vision of a realistic and attractive future that bonds employees together and focuses their energy toward a superordinate organizational goal. Visions represent the substance of transformational leadership.” (Kreitner, pg. 258) The founder of Be The Dream, Spectrum’s parent organization, has been a ‘broker of dreams’ in the community for nearly 20 years, facilitating diverse activities of various community action coalitions.


            Spectrum Academy is a viable concept that integrates several independent yet potentially interdependent business units - the school, RTC, and CTC. Various leadership styles are necessary to achieve optimal performance of each unit and the synergy of collaborative alliances across a number of civic, community, and social service arenas. Developing a structure that empowers a carefully constructed organizational model will ensure the success of the plan.



Kreitner, Robert, et al.  Organizational Leadership and Change Management. New York City: McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2001.