This episode we caught up with Stephen de Groot, an author, consultant and transformation architect who works across systems in the helping professions (education, social services, justice) to help create positive outcomes for kids and families, and improve the working lives of professionals in the field.

Click here for more information about our 1-day workshop with Stephen de Groot on April 28th, 2016 in Calgary.

Steve’s approach to helping has been informed by a multitude of philosophical, theoretical and technical orientations and developed out of his successful practice experiences and life stories from thousands of children, youth and families and; thousands of frontline workers, supervisors, managers and executives. For the last 20 years Steve has worked with more than 200 organizations in a variety of fields and helping sectors.

responsiveleadershipHe has provided support, education and training to caring and helping professionals who live and work with children in child welfare, child and youth care, youth homelessness, justice, education and health. Steve has instructed in both Bachelor and Masters Programs at the University of Manitoba for more than 7 years. He has occupied and continues to operate in a myriad of roles such as mentor, consultant, trainer, supervisor, author, facilitator, strategic planner and international speaker.

Have a listen and definitely grab a copy of Steve’s Responsive Leadership In Social Services!



Show Notes

2:15 Stephen articulates what he does as a Transformation Architect
6:00 What drove Steve into the helping profession
7:00 Some important moments in Steve’s journey
12:00 Two things we need to change about the social services system
15:30 What terrifies Steve about people who “quit and stay”, the disempowered employee and why it’s important to help heal wounded warriors
18:00 How responsive leadership is different, and the disconnect between what we ask the frontline to do and how we supervise them to do it.
23:30 Stephen discusses supervision versus therapy when it comes to working with staff and the need to balance supportive supervision with administrative and educative supervision
29:30 Focusing on the human aspect of the work
30:45 Naming values and operationalizing them in your organization and the five pillars of responsive leadership
33:30 How different levels of management go to different types of training, and how that creates confusion and disconnect in your organization
36:00 Using values to make decisions moment to moment
37:30 The 5 L’s of great leadership
40:00 Stephen’s advice to young professionals
43:45 Stephen tells a story of being told to “go empower a family”.
46:30 A few organizations that impressed Stephen with their ability to change and transform their practice
54:00 Stephen’s recommendations for books to read
  • 58:15 The action you should take as a listener, connecting your values to your practice