Leadership Lessons for Leading the Way
Student service providers have a unique opportunity to be influential leaders provoking their institution to be places that empower, develop and educate students. Within each of the diverse roles of a student service provider, there is the possibility to impact significantly on the people and the place. This can be accomplished by understanding the contextual environment, the leadership qualities required and individual capabilities. One can understand the leadership roles of student service providers by viewing the student service organization as a garden and the leader as the gardener. Student service organizations, like gardens provide a retreat for some, a source of inspiration and growth for others. They nourish the mind, body and spirit. They remind us to pay attention to our environment and to remember that there is more to life than achievement. Sometimes taken for granted, their impact on people can be underestimated. However, by their existence they provide the impetus for people to appreciate life’s possibilities and to invest in the process of nurturing growth. Student service leaders, like gardeners, focus on growth. They are generative leaders. They plan, plow, plant, prune and propagate. Although different in their preferences and approaches, gardeners, like student service leaders, invest in transformational processes, embrace seasonal changes, and learn the lessons that nature teaches. To develop effectively the student service provider must understand and adapt to local conditions; plant many seeds to facilitate growth; ensure survival by encouraging variety and weather storms through planning. Student service leaders instinctively use the knowledge of the seasons. They invest in the processes and efforts in planning so that new growth can flourish and celebrate the results of their efforts. Their yearly schedules have seasonal cycles; they use the time they have to plan, to prepare the environment for sowing new ideas, to plant, to prune when necessary, and to take stock, transplant and reshape. They create the environment that nurtures and sustains growth. They are generative leaders who deliberately and strategically lead the way in promoting the growth of their students, supporting their staff, and transforming their organizations.
30 Nov -0001
Strategic Research Theme
Community and Regional Development