|Sometimes I wonder whether the time and energy we put into selecting (and then critiquing) our departmental leader might be better put to use refurbishing the "ship" they are asked to lead.|
As my department began to transition from one Head to another, we were all invited to speak to the Dean. Specifically, we were asked three questions:
- What do you consider the qualities in an effective leader for our department?
- What are the major challenges facing your department?
- Who would you suggest for the position?
What do you consider the qualities in an effective leader for our department?
Supported and supportive
Able to delegate
Organized--information, money, time
One way to combat this could be to come together as a department and identify about three priorities for the academic year. In the absence of a well-articulated set of priorities, people feel that the leader does what she/he wants, that power is absolute. If someone goes to the Head and asks for something, and if the Head can't give them what they want, it feels personal. Instead, those kinds of decisions (at least some of them) could be clearly articulated and then revisited the following year.