Trust and Consensus during Change
Trust is foundational to the health and survival of any organization, and creating and maintaining this trust is the responsibility of the leader. The effective communication is a foundation to effective management, depended upon a climate of mutual trust and support with the group.
DEMONSTRATE GENUINE CARING
Leadership is an act of love—for the institution, and for those who work to make it successful. Caring for others must be demonstrated in overt ways, but want to emphasize here that the demonstration
must be genuine. The leader must be able to laugh and share joy with the happy moments others experience and weep with their sorrows.
academic leadership should constantly be engaged in the central activity of the enterprise—teaching and learning.
LISTEN TO CRITICISM
Leaders must be open to bad news. In fact, they must develop an atmosphere that encourages it to come to their attention. It is impossible for the leader to pass along too much valid information but sharing your vision of the future, especially of those areas where change seems inevitable.
Experienced leaders know that when options related to a pending decision are discussed and shared openly, some are inclined to react to each option as if it is the final decision, even if the option is one of the weaker choices
All criticism, whether directed at the leader or at others, is not necessarily merited, yet the invitation to express it is often seen as an indication that “something will be done about it.
CREDIT FREELY/BLAME SLOWLY
To lead effectively, you do not have to take credit for every success. Most, in fact, will not be your doing, but will result from the work of many. Most failures and mistakes are also shared efforts, are immediately recognized by those responsible, and become much more destructive if immediately called to general attention. if something didn’t appear to be going smoothly, we would get together privately and talk about it before taking other action. Trust results from knowing that if one tries and succeeds, recognition will come with the success. If one fails while doing one’s best, there will be opportunities to try again.
BE CALM, UPBEAT, AND POSITIVE
Three-Step Emergency Procedure
(1) Maintain self-control, control of the institutional environment, and of the emotions of others faced with the crisis.
(2) Analyze the situation.
(3) Take proper action.
In an environment in which power, decision making, and trust are to be shared, ethical decisions and behavior should be expected of everyone. Otherwise powerwith will lose much of its appeal to those who do not trust others to do what is right.
introspection also invites us to evaluate what is truly important to us. What makes us who we are and has brought us to where we are? When we have been gone for 50 years, what difference will it have made that we were here at all? Again, we begin to see the importance of transcending the commonplace and the routine, and committing ourselves to bettering the human condition. This is spirit at work.
The organization must be so ordered as to encourage the free flow of thoughts, concerns, and ideas, and must be structured in such a way that all are not only allowed, but encouraged to participate. These are two valuable lessons
1. The first was an appreciation for the power of silence—for the ability to sit for long periods of time without feeling the need to speak
2. The second great lesson from the clerking session was a deeper understanding of the Friends’ approach to consensus building, one that is particularly useful to power-with leadership.
The process can be time consuming, but generally is not. The challenge, of course, is to foster an environment and to structure an organization in such a way that this kind of consensus building can occur. Creating that environment requires that college leadership ensures that higher education retain one of its critically unique functions in society, to serve as a forum for the free expression of ideas
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