- Strategic Leadership
An excerpt from The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean perhaps states the differences between Management and Leadership best.
- Management maintains current reality...it requires coordination, problem solving, and decision making.
- Leadership moves...departments towards the ideal state. Any behavior that moves an organization one step closer to its never achievable ideal state is an act of leadership.
- Relationship Building
- Perhaps one of the most important attributes of a successful department head is an effective relationship between both faculty and staff. Fostering a caring and trusting relationship is the key to becoming an effective head; one who is able to affect positive change in the department and one that helps faculty and staff achieve their respective goals.
The department head's role today, and to be honest, not significantly different from 30 years ago, is to keep the organization attuned to changing needs and competitor initiatives, developing clear purpose and shared values among all stakeholders, and in establishing a climate of continuous innovation and improvement amongst its faculty and staff.
Faculty members at any university are often characterized as independent and self-motivated. Indeed, it is often said, "managing faculty is akin to herding cats". Quite humorously, this can be followed by, "To herd cats, one only needs to move the food." By and large, department heads come from the faculty ranks, and should be able to identify which "food" is important to each of their faculty and work towards assisting in locating it and making it available to their faculty. When this is accomplished, a department head is significantly closer to achieving the desired department strategic outcomes and will be empowered to motivate faculty members towards this end. Methods of motivation are important to cultivate for any department head.
[moh-tuh-vey-shuh n] noun
1. the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way.
2. the state or condition of being motivated.
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive.
Unless a department head develops a system that ensures timely and effective execution of the strategic plan, all their efforts will be for nothing. A system that requires accountability and ensures mutually understood expectations can result in progress occurring at an agreeable pace and at a level of quality expected of a higher education institution.
"Vision without execution is an illusion." Edison