Social Work Makes Me A Better Leader


Every day, the nation’s 680,000 social workers work to empower and elevate millions of people, including some of the most vulnerable in our society.  National Professional Social Work Month in March (2019) is an opportunity for social workers around the nation and world and their supporters to educate the public about the invaluable contributions of the profession. 

The theme for March 2019 is Elevate Social Work. We are taking this opportunity to elevate conversations about the education and training of social workers, the diversity of jobs in the field of social work, and the need to elevate the pay of social workers whose salaries fall behind those of other helping professions.  My social work signature line is “Social Workers do not have to take a vow of poverty”.

Generalist social work students acquire a generic set of assessment, planning, and intervention skills. Essential social work skills also include critical thinking, active listening, empathy, self-awareness, cooperation, strong boundaries, verbal and written communication, and knowledge of human development.  All these skills combined have made me a better manager and entrepreneur and ultimately a better leader.   

I came across these words (or very similar wording) on social media more than once this weekend, “build a business based on your skills, not your passion”.  I agree that there is some truth to that statement, but I don’t believe that I would be very successful in what I do if it was not something that I am also passionate about. I love social work.  I love the foundation, the principles, the diversity, the integrity.  Social workers are my tribe.  When I interview Social Workers for my annual Social Work Month Blog Series, the passion is unmatched. I hear it over and over again and it is true for me as well. I really can’t think of anything else that I would rather have built a career or business around.

Have I told you today that I love social work?


Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career advancement. She has an extensive background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished supervisor, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has merged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into a thriving business.  Nicki Sanders Consulting helps businesses increase employee recruitment and retention and helps managers uplevel their leadership skills.  

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