The Future Leader Needed for Higher Education

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The Future Leader Needed for Higher Education

May 20, 2014

Community Resource Leader

As everyone knows, change is accelerating in higher education with no slowdown in sight. In addition, the federal government is once again intruding into the affairs of higher education creating more pressure. Just as the federal government hijacked the student loan industry from local banks, it is beginning to insert itself more and more into how success is defined for colleges and universities. The U.S. President is calling for measurable outcomes (i.e., strong graduation and placement rates). On the surface this is a noteworthy goal to ask for measurable outcomes. The problem is that once again more directives and actions are being called for from political bureaucrats with no effort to produce much-needed resources for the higher education community. Recent articles in the news point out that higher education is poised for dramatic overhaul using new models and approaches.

One thing is certain; a new kind of leader is needed to position universities for a new way of defining and measuring success. This new way of measuring achievement will mean true success will only count if multiple parties are victorious. This new concept will produce tangible and measurable evidence through collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships. Shared success will mean that several entities must benefit through collective actions. The university leader must play a defining and deliberate role to bring various groups together to combine efforts and resources. It will be imperative to bring universities, community groups, government leaders, and faith-based organizations together to strategically solve community problems.

A significant issue all across the face of America is that many small and midsized communities are in economic decline. The economic outlook continues to be sluggish and local communities are experiencing a decreasing tax base. Communities all across America are at risk and are searching for answers to maintain and improve community life and regain economic prosperity.

The new university leader of colleges and universities must be able to mobilize and focus the educational engine to prepare graduates to contribute to a changing economy. In addition, the new leader for tomorrow must also be building a new synergistic relationship between the academy and local citizenry. Both groups need each other to affect change to stimulate economic growth and much-needed community improvements.

The new leader will develop a vision and direction that is meaningful not only to the academy but to local communities. This vision and the emergence of subsequent strategic plans will not be done in isolation, but will be the result of interacting, collaborating, and partnering with multiple entities. In order to develop lasting vision and direction, the new leader must start by listening to various community partners. The new leader must be a “good marketer and communicator” and willing to lead for the benefit of all community partners.

This new leader will be the community resource facilitator. He will act to bring partners together to improve university and community life through solving urban housing decay, attracting new corporate and business opportunities, improving overall education levels of its citizens, and by strengthening the performing and creative arts.

This new leader will demonstrate a new skill set needed for leading multiple entities. The leader of the future will demonstrate the following list of qualities and behaviors.

Seven Qualities That Mark the New Leader of the Future:

  1. Be a visionary
  2. Be able to identify and deploy talent
  3. Be able to create a culture of innovation
  4. Be able to help employees adapt to and thrive on change
  5. Be able to motivate employees to be positive, forward-looking, and energetic
  6. Be able to build long-lasting friends and donors
  7. Be able to collaborate and partner with outside entities

The leader of the future will have a passion for energizing community leaders to cooperate and combine resources and people to look for new opportunities to create jobs and improve the overall economy and quality of life.

This new university leader will be bold, confident, and community-minded and will demonstrate a selfless and altruistic spirit for the common good of society and mankind.

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