The Ultimate Education leadership Revised
The Ultimate Education leadership
The aim of this paper is to deliberate on the ultimate leadership style that should be adopted by the education personnel. The paper will also focus on the various models that have been in place to try and come up with an ideal model of what characteristics leaders serving education capacities portray. This is to address a leadership gap that has been identified in institutions of higher learning evident from a number of papers on the dismal performance of universities and other institutions of higher learning in realizing their major goals. The paper will basically focus on adopting a strategy where the appointment of academic personnel with leadership skills will be key in institutions of higher learning rather than on, purely, academic basis.
Education leadership can be described as the roles assumed by managers who run education institutions. This covers a wide range of personnel who are involved in day to day learning of the institutions. This includes; vice chancellors, principals, deans and other departmental heads. The leaders have roles ranging from managing finances, facilitating learning, staff welfare, and curriculum development among others. These responsibilities are thus drawn from a number of disciplines. Thus other skills other than academic prowess only are required if these people shall be able to meet their extra duties. Educational leadership in higher learning institutions is vital to the development of institutions and also producing quality graduates from the same institutions while facilitating research and innovations. However the above breakthrough can only be achieved effectively by a new generation of education leaders who are appointed not only on the outstanding academic basis, but also by portraying sound leadership skills and good decision making (Sylvie 2005; 18-26). This unlike the traditional system where academic leaders were elected or appointed solely on academic basis will be a major milestone in quality of education in institutions of higher learning. However, academic qualifications should come first while general leadership and managerial competence should come in handy as an additional advantage.
“Leadership involves a process whereby intentional influence is exerted by one person over other people to guide, structure, and facilitate activities and relationships in a group or organization.” (Daniel 2003; 1058 – 1063). Over time leadership roles have been generally broken down into; giving of direction by developing a vision, motivation and inspiring of personnel, looking up to them and alignment of personnel to bring cooperation. Despite having some theories like the trait theories that describe leadership as an inborn trait, leadership can be developed by learning as strongly indicated by behavioral theories. To develop leadership by learning individuals must be ready to take part in the activities, observe and also learn to interact and work with others. Individuals who take part in the activities of the firm by being part of the team rather than being an authoritative party who only gives instruction is able to understand the situation better (Sternberg 2007; 34). Better solutions and implementations are carried out when one has clear firsthand information. Individuals willing to develop leadership skills should be willing to self-develop and should be ready to take stretch assignments. “We have instructional leadership, transformational leadership, moral leadership, constructivist leadership, servant leadership, cultural leadership, and primal leadership”. (Murphy 2003; 87-93). The role of education leaders in institutions has been outlined as; framing and communicating the institution’s goal, coordinating the curriculum and supervising of personnel, and facilitating a conducive learning environment.
Educational leaders should be task-oriented as compared to relationships-oriented leaders since they run high control institutions. Educational leaders should adopt collaborative sharing that allows more extensive and inclusive participation, which helps bridge the gap that may exist between leaders, staff and students. The education leaders should employ a servant leadership approach where they should be more in service than assuming an authoritative position. “Remaining true to the model of servant-leadership by being true to oneself during day-to-day operations and long-term situations will benefit everyone involved.” (Keels 2004; 30). Transformational and charismatic leadership is encouraged since it acts as a form of motivation to those looking up on the leaders. “Leaders value flexibility, innovation and adaptation, and that the concept of leadership should not exclude the importance of both rational and emotional processes.” (Klinge 2000; 201-202). Educational leaders should be social since they will be able to interact with their colleagues and students and this also helps them build a high level of trust from the said parties. Educational leaders, however, should still maintain professionalism in executing their duties despite their requirement of being social. This ensures they maintain they maintain and are accorded professional respect while interacting with all stakeholders.
People holding leadership positions should well understand the institutions mission and vision and should be geared towards meeting these goals. The leaders, however, should also not fail from their core objective of delivering quality education and facilitating research and innovations so as to meet the requirement of the work market. The leaders should have good knowledge of the curriculum and should ensure it is well implemented to ensure quality learning. Leaders should be in a position to supervise personnel under them and should facilitate they have better working performance that will improve the output (Gregory 2014; 30-43). A conducive environment should be created by the education leaders to ensure that all stakeholders are satisfied and are operating under environments which are best for their performance. Despite much expectations and responsibilities, education leaders are charged with they always create time for personal development and also time for a social life. Time set aside for personal development helps one to self-improve, learn and acquire more skills.
Educational leaders should be appointed based on both academic credentials and leadership qualities rather being elected or having appointments basic on pure academic performance. The implementation will result in institutions of higher learning to be run by managers rather than scholars.
Scholars have at times been associated with giving too much attention to their academic and research work while neglecting other responsibilities. Thus, by giving leadership performance to scholars, it may lead to dismal performance and, at times, total failure of their expectations. If, on the other hand, a pure management technique is implemented, then they would lead the institutions in a commercial manner. Hence, for sound management of institutions of higher learning, professionals who have good academic credentials and proper academic skills should be appointed to head such institutions and their departments.
Daniel, J. R, and Herbert, S. (2003). “The special challenges of academic leadership”, Management Decision,Vol. 41 Iss 10 pp. 1058 – 1063
Gregory F. Lorenz , (2014),”A study of wellness and academic leadership”, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 6 Iss 1 pp. 30 – 43
Keels, C. L. (2004). “Investing in Historic Black College and University (HBCU) Leadership: Southern Education Foundation Creates Three-Year Initiative to Facilitate HBCU Accreditation.” Black Issues in Higher Education 21.15: 30.
Klinge, B. “Leadership in academic institutions: raising the value of teaching.” Medical education 34.3 (2000): 201-202.
Murphy, Christina. “The rewards of academic leadership.” New Directions for Higher Education 2003.124 (2003): 87-93.
Sternberg, Robert J. “A systems model of leadership: WICS.” American Psychologist 62.1 (2007): 34.
Sylvie Aspirot academic Coaches and Leadership. 2005. 18-26