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Leadership In Behavior Analysis

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“Leaders in behavior analysis are skilled in identifying strategic ways to get to the big picture goal. Since they have a very specific result in mind, a BAL must be okay with turning down activities that compete with getting closer to behavior analytic vision, do not add value to their vision, or great ideas that have bad timing.”

The Independent Variable that Advances Our Field

Leadership is not based on the position one holds, the education one has, or the authority they have been vested by an organization. Leadership is a set of behaviors that anyone can learn, master, and generalize to any organization, position, and situation. Being a leader in behavior analysis is unique and different than being a leader in other fields. As behavior analysts, we know that behavior is learned, changed, and maintained based on specific environmental variables in place. As a leader in behavior analysis, we are also usually working with others who have the same understanding. We recognize that most in our field (well, actually, in most fields) are placed in leadership positions without any training in how to actually be a leader. This leads to failure of one in the leadership position as well as those under that person, ultimately leading to the suffering of the businesses and their clients. It’s time to turn that around and focus on how to ensure those in leadership positions are actual leaders; those who have mastered the skills that define leadership.

Leadership in Behavior Analysis (LIBA for short), provides strategies and exercises that can be implemented in your leadership journey, providing you with the practice necessary to master these skills. It is our recommendation that you practice each strategy and enlist someone to provide you feedback on the skills your are practicing. This will provide you the most benefit and ensure that you do not just learn about leadership, but that you actually transform into a leader in behavior analysis.

Meet the LIBA Authors

Natalie Parks, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Natalie Parks, Ph.D., BCBA-D has over 20 years of experience in the field of ABA and has held positions ranging from entry level to chief officer. Her clinical experiences include skill acquisition, severe behavior, feeding issues, toileting; however, she moved away from the clinical application of ABA to organizational behavior management as she realized many in leadership positions in the field, including herself, were not provided training in leadership and thus struggled. Natalie now focuses not just on developing leaders, but also on extending ABA to other fields including businesses, social justice, education, and sports.

Ashley Tudor, M.A., BCBA

Ashley Tudor, M.A., BCBA, has held positions such as new hire staff trainer, adult day training program coordinator for adults with developmental disabilities, supervisor for in-home and community-based ABA services, and has assisted in the development of performance systems and ABA agency training protocol. Ashley continues to apply Organizational Behavior Management in everything she does.

Adam Ventura, M.S., BCBA

Adam Ventura is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, CEO, and university adjunct professor.  Adam has been a behavior analyst for over 15 years, during that time he has started and run small and medium sized companies managing upwards of 250 employees across several states, and has directly instructed over 6000 students in university settings.  Adam has also help found and volunteer in several nonprofit and community related organizations from co-founding the Miami Association for Behavior Analysis to becoming president of the Organizational Behavior Management Network.  Adam has recently cofounded a venture capital company, Bueno Ventures, to help start, fund, and manage behavior analysis companies in various industries from digital technology and instructional design to yoga and mixed martial arts..