In the higher education sector it is common for someone at one level, who has been very successful in a job that is solely dependent upon individual success, to be promoted to the next level in an administrative job that requires a team to be successful. Individual success does not mean that the individual is able to lead a team. This doesn't mean that someone who is successful in work that is solely dependent upon them self should not be promoted to work that requires a team. What this does mean is that leaders within the higher education sector might want to consider whether or not promoting someone without some form of assessment of or professional development related to building a team and cultivating team work is a practice that should be continued.
As you might expect, I'm suggesting that higher education institutions should consider assessing an individual's competency around building, leading, and assessing team prior to promoting them. I'm also suggesting that higher education institutions should be very intentional in providing professional development when promoting people within the organization. Last, higher educational institutions should also consider how they on-board leaders within the organization to ensure they are cultivating the culture they wish to have at the institution. All of these consideration requirement prior thought about culture and expectations.
My expectations for leaders at the department and division level have been formed over time. These expectations have been formed from my own experiences when serving at those levels and from experiences supervising those who served at those levels. These expectations have been formed within institutions that had a culture that I wanted to encourage and at institutions with a culture that I wanted to transform.
Most of these expectations are principles that can be applied at any level of the organization and most likely can be applied both within and outside of the higher education sector. Let me share with you my expectations.
1. Think at a level above the level you manage.
2. Be accountable and make accountable.
3. Solve problems at the lowest level possible.
4. Know and follow policy and administrative rules.
5. Be competent with data.
6. Communicate first, factual, frequently.
7. Be professional and encourage professionalism
8. Be visible.
9. Be a cheerleader.
The next several posts will explore in more depth what each of these expectations look like when successfully practiced.