Redefine Leadership in Higher Education Institutions

Redefine Leadership in Higher Education Institutions


Truth talking and beautiful doing are the fruitful traits of a triumphant administrator. The speaker of living speech takes provision from intelligence. He stirs up meaning, adorns the speech with meaning, and decorates it with truthfulness so that the listener, from tasting its meaning, may yearn for meaning’s wellspring.
How can we hope to teach good leadership without explaining the pit falls of bad leadership, this is like to teach health while ignoring diseases. Same is the case with dark side traits, which are not clinical personality disorders but are part of normal personality, although they can interfere with relationships and judgments. Administrative heads who are aware of their dark sides, who have techniques for managing their disruptive effects, and who are motivated to do so are more likely to express these traits positively. In contrast to the positive expression of dark side traits, most of the heads lack pivotal tools and techniques which are prerequisite for translating these dark side traits into fruitful expression.
A lot of models are operating in the Higher Education system and most of the heads have adopted the hierarchical command-and-control approach which is in dire need to be revisited for the development of academic communities of a global society. The autocratic way of leadership and the intoxication of power cum rank dominate his potency of anger over all the potencies, and their anger’s fire blazes up at the slightest disturbance. Their work is striving and pulling, their talking stirs up dispute and their thought is about tormenting, injuring, and pestering. Their dictatorship is to show stinginess and malignancy and this trait of his own rank and way station is a mark that he is ill-provisioned with elevation and rank.
On the positive side, leader must express his trait of humility because humility is a mark that the humble person is well-provisioned with elevation and rank, since he can give a share of it to every sub-ordinate. To achieve the targeted goal via liberty, justice and equality is beyond the mantra of autocratic approach and it needs a visionary leader who cognizes the art of dealing with those subordinate to him and today’s leaders must exercise power through a shared purpose and vision. Visionary leaders don’t have to be brilliant, highly innovative or incredibly charismatic. But they do have to be intently focused on what it is they are trying to achieve.
According to the natural system theory, all the parts of a system are interdependent and cannot remain in isolation. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected or globalized, the importance of understanding the linkages and bonds become necessary. Scientists tell us that the world of nature is so small and interdependent that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon rainforest can generate a violent storm on the other side of the earth. This principle is known as the “Butterfly Effect”. Today, we realize, perhaps more than ever, that the world of human activity also has its own “Butterfly Effect”-for better or for worse. Pertinently, Woodrow Wilson quotes “We are citizens of the world. The tragedy is that we do not know this”. Higher Education institutions are the living organizations and each aspect of it is interdependent on the other, like different systems of human body which are mutually interdependent and if the doctor does not take ample care the patient will die. If patient dies then everyone fails. Henceforth, systemic leadership is demanding for the survival cum development of Higher Education Institutions.
Transforming leadership was first of all introduced by MacGregor Burns in 1978, in which leaders and followers are mutually sharing and helping each other in order to reach the zenith of excellence. Later on, Burns Transforming Model was extended by Transformational model of Bernard M Bass in 1985. Bass explained the ABCD of Leadership via Four (4) I Model, which is about influence, inspiration, impact, and individualized consideration. In other words, this 4(I) Model depicts idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Unfortunately, this transformational model is resting in the dead stock of many Higher Education Institutions with a hash tag #TouchMeNotModel.
Leaders succeed when they can translate the strategy into execution. Implementing strategy can be at least twice as hard as creating the right strategy. Joseph Bowler, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard school says, “implementation is tough and complex”. One of the criticisms we would have of some of our colleagues who have studied strategy is that they assume that once you design strategy it gets executed. Unfortunately, most of the administrative heads don’t look inside the process and finally they fail multiple times not because the strategy was wrong, but because the execution was poorly done.
There is always an emotional halo around the word leadership. Let us bear in mind “Leadership isn’t about title or designation. Unless there is soup in the pot, you cannot ladle it. If a leader does not have a vision and a mission, there can be no movement forward. First and foremost is to have a vision and a mission. Very often the problem is that we go on attributing our diseased states to invalid causes. Despite a sea of research, we do not have a perfect knowledge base. Very often our reason fails us, because, our quest is not dedicated and our reason is illogical. A leader in Higher Education needs to know the art of dealing with those subordinate to him or her, has to have an open door policy and should never indulge in closed door parleys. A leader should be willing to re-examine his or her own conception of what it means to be a successful leader and Higher Education sector demands new experiments with novel approaches to get in touch with the zenith of its excellence.

—The author is an Assistant Professor at the Government Degree College Sumbal, Sonawari (Jammu and Kashmir). He can be reached at: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.