This blog is from a leadership session that I attended at a state enrollment conference in Texas called TACRAO.
This workshop addressed various issues facing by those new to supervisory ranks. These are practical tips and strategies to aid in establishing a leadership style that fosters teamwork and productivity.
Presenter: David Edwards – Director of Admissions/Registrar
Today there are a lot of issues facing new leaders
Young leaders who get promoted – there are not a whole lot of places to go to get a quick course in leadership – usually it is trial by fire.
These are common sense tips learned over the 20 years in higher education.
Every work field is changing around us – resources are limited – staff are being stretched like never before. You will be facing some tough decisions.
Here are David’s Principles of Successful leadership
Every day – do your best
1. Your people are # 1 – Your staff is your greatest resource
– its not about technology, plans, or even results. We should never forget that it is about the people we work with and who we work to serve.
If we didn’t have students – we wouldn’t have a need for staff
2. I, my office, and me are not phrases that real leader should use. But rather we, us and our team are better.
We all know that Quarterbacks get all the credit but you still need the linemen to be successful
They never get any credit. We can change that in our offices.
3. Be relational – develop your staff
Know something about everyone in the ranks- take interest in them.
Always capture the important knowledge of your staff in decision making. They know a lot more than you do in many cases.
4. Character and Integrity are the foundation of a leaders ability to lead.
Once you have comprised it or lost it. It is almost impossible to regain it.
5. Actions speak louder than words – many leaders attempting to be someone else and have forfeited the respect of their staff.
6. Not every call you make will be right. Walk humble
7. Communication is the key to strong leadership
Free flow of information, goals, pitfalls, and institutional imperatives are a must for team to thrive. Make sure your message gets down to grass roots level of the office. Communication is power and it is your responsibility to make sure everyone hears the message.
8. Know your job
Review your job description – to shore up any weak areas
Practice a self evaluation regularly
“The difference between management and leadership is initiative ”
Delegation does not absolve responsibility….you still are responsible
9. Never underestimate the power of the “thank you“. Employees need to hear this – some times bad employees are that way because they have been over looked- seek to change that.
10. Practice management by walking around – helps you to stay in touch?
11, Don’t take yourself so serious – learn to laugh at yourself
You can grow from mistakes with the right mental framework.
12. As a leader – Don’t hear everything? We know you have to be the “Boss” some days and you will need to make tough decisions. Expect some resistance to tough decisions
13. It is ok to say I don’t know. Don’t guess – then go do your homework.
14. Be liberal on praise, short on criticism, and always constructive when giving criticism.
“Remember the backside that you kick today may be the one that you have to kiss tomorrow.”
Effective leaders think institutionally and not just departmentally
Just because I can doesn’t mean I should – make long term oriented decisions
15. Practice what you preach, get your hands dirty and show that you are willing to step up to help your staff in key roles.
16. A sincere apology is not a sign of weakness. Many leaders forget this when they get a title or promotion
Never lose sight of why you do what you do ! The purpose will keep you focused on the right priorities.
Running to win…GTR