Managers in Higher Education Must Harness Power, Politics

Competition for resources – internal and external – means power and politics become even greater issues for managers in higher education today.

Add to that the closer scrutiny of performance, both academic and administrative, and managers in higher education face some real challenges.

From an educational perspective, the changes over the last decade in the way learning is facilitated (e.g. the move to such strategies as distance learning, e-learning and blended learning), mean the challenges for managers become twofold – content, what is done and process, the way it is done.

In such an environment, the calls for the higher education manager to add the “leadership” string to his or her management bow are long and loud. This is irrespective of whether the manager has arrived via the academic or administrative stream to their current position.

But, just what is meant by “leadership”? Does it differ from “management”? And most importantly, how does one “do leadership”?

Let’s start with management. Management is what one gets paid to do, i.e. to achieve certain tasks using the available resources. Management success is seen through the eyes of the organisation. Management is therefore mandatory (probably under pain of death!).

Leadership on the other hand, is only seen through the eyes of others – peers, colleagues, staff and other key stakeholders – those whom we need to influence without authority. Leadership is optional, but obviously highly desirable. Leadership within the group or team is evident when people are highly motivated, working co-operatively and performing at their best.

One further factor distinguishes leadership. Unlike management, it does not reside in one person – it is more a condition or function rather than a role. As Charles Handy once described it – leadership is “distributed” throughout the manager’s group or team. Although leadership may start with the manager, it’s the conditions that the manager establishes and maintains that decide whether the leadership function flourishes.

Just what are these conditions and how does the manager establish them? Four conditions are evident when leadership exists:

* A shared understanding of the environment. i.e., people have a very clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses within their group or team together with the opportunities and threats. There is a collective understanding of “We know what we face.”

* A shared sense of direction. i.e., people know (collectively) what they are trying to achieve. People can say “We know where we are going.”

* A shared set of values, i.e. people will say “We really enjoy working in this team with these people.”

* A shared feeling of power. There is a feeling of “We can do this.”

Establishing these conditions can commence with a series of workshops to encourage the sharing and distributive nature of leadership.

Then of course there is the external focus of leadership – influencing those outside the team or group to adequately manage power and politics. This can start with a thorough stakeholder analysis such as:

* Who are my key stakeholders? i.e., by name and / or position – customers, suppliers, owners, staff, community, industry.

* What is the effectiveness of each of these relationships? Give each a rating from +3 to -3 to give a clearer indication of effectiveness.

* How important is each relationship? Rank each on the basis of “high”, “medium” or “low”.

* Select those with a high degree of importance and a low rate of relationship effectiveness

* Ask – What are their sources of power and influence? How might I best use these?

* Discuss your analysis with a trusted colleague or friend (perhaps from outside H.E.). Develop a plan for managing each of these important stakeholders. Then review these relationships again in three months time.

Managing power and politics is a challenge for managers in higher education, but it can be mastered. As managers, too often we are so tied up in the moment of trying to achieve results that we do not take the time to reflect and plan an effective leadership strategy.

Hopefully the approach discussed here will generate a structure where distributed leadership copes with the day-to-day processes, freeing you up to focus on important management content issues. Great when our people can say, “Yep, we know the challenges facing us, the direction we have to go and that we will support one another. We can really make a difference here.”

Leadership Styles Review

Leadership styles are approaches used by various leaders to guide the people. They are used to get various plans and tasks accomplished successfully. They vary according to the situation, leader, or the task to be accomplished.

One of the leadership styles is the authoritarian type. Here the the leader gives instructions regarding the task or tasks to be accomplished and how they should be accomplished. The leader does not accept any questions from the people they are leading but only gives orders. this method will only work well when the people being led are highly motivated and the leader knows exactly how to accomplish the given task.This method should be used very occasionally.

In participative leadership styles, the leader involves a few of the people he or she is leading in decision making. This method is best suitable for occasions when the leader does not have complete information regarding the task to be accomplished. some people think that using this style indicates the weakness of the leader, on the contrary it does not.

There is the derogatory type. Here the leader allows the people the people he or she is leading to make their own decisions regarding tasks to be accomplished. The leader however remains responsible for the actions taken by the people he or she is leading. This method is mostly used where the people being led have proper knowledge of how tasks should be accomplished and are also trustworthy. The other methods of leading are the charismatic and bureaucratic methods. The method a leader chooses to lead will depend on the people being led, the kind of task to be accomplished and the duration within which the task should be accomplished.

9 Leadership Lessons From the Rust Belt

“Education”, in the words of John Dewey, “is not preparation for life; education is life itself,” as this is a major pathway to achieving any goal. Education, I believe, endows upon an individual the knowledge, skills and know-how for achieving a fulfilling and productive life and for contributing to the advancement of the community and society as a whole.

Education is but one pathway to success; there are others that are beyond formal education and those are the ones I gleaned in my years on the radio interviewing various individuals across different sectors. The serendipitous education (leadership life lessons, as I call them) that has taken place is something that I don’t think one could ever under-value in the development of a human being. I want to share 9 leadership lessons that I have learned along the way because simply put, it will help promote the continuing development of the individual and perhaps helping people develop a personal legacy for the future.

1. There is value in revisiting the past. As Dr. John Grabowski (Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor in Applied History at Case Western Reserve University) learned at an early age, when his father took him on walks around the neighborhood, and pointed out every house he lived in and every ball field he ever played ball on– for his father, the past was a more comfortable place than the present. But for Dr. Grabowski, it pushed him to pursue his goals as he later became a historian. The lesson, look to the past for inspiration for the future.

2. Choose your work, wisely. It shouldn’t just be a job. It should be a vocation. Your career path has to connect to your head and your gut, says Robert Jaquay (Associate Director, The George Gund Foundation). To him, his career path feels like the authentic him. The lesson, ask how authentic does your career feel to you?

3. What we may not know is where we will be heading in the future, but what we know for sure is that what you do today will make a difference for tomorrow. As Lao Tzu (Chinese philosopher) aptly puts it, a journey of a thousand miles, must begin with one step. The lesson, each step you take can get you closer to your dream.

The lesson, make plans beginning today.

4. Do what is right versus what is easy. A lesson I learned from Heather Ettinger (Managing Partner, Fairport Asset Management Company), who lives by this mantra. The lesson, it’s about integrity.

5. You can walk a lot further than you think. A lesson I learned from Rev. Tracy Lind (Urban Planner and Dean of Trinity Episcopalian Cathedral of Cleveland) who embarked and finished the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The lesson, once you get into the rhythm of walking, every step is really part of the journey.

6. Get connected. Develop and build significant relationships with a community of your peers within industry, outside industry, within the region, around the country and worldwide. The lesson, use Facebook and Linkedin to your advantage.

7. Be a knowledge junkie. Have a passion for learning. You don’t have to be in a formal education program. The lesson, it’s how you are keeping up and staying current. Again, a valuable lesson learned from Bob Jaquay.

8. Don’t get mad. Get smart. This is a way of living for Randy McShepard ( Vice President of Public Affairs at RPM International Inc), a community leader, who encourages us all to be more smart about illuminating issues before they reach the boiling point. The lesson, help people think and process differently.

9. Grow your community. Your success is your community’s success. The lesson, always be in service to your community. In so doing, you will be improving the economic and social stability of your city thereby leaving a legacy. Leave those around in a better place with the work that you.

The road ahead for some of you might be challenging, however your future looks brighter based on your ability to successfully and continuously transform yourself through formal and informal education.

Preparing Assistant Administrators for Inner-City School Leadership

Effective Leadership is the result of a healthy balance between management and instruction. While current research seems to minimize the need for management, the reality is administrators cannot be truly effective if they do not have an equal pairing between instruction and efficient systems, or management. Educational Leadership programs are making earnest attempts to infuse leadership techniques that would be preparatory for all environments; however, experience shows us that the skill set needed for suburban and many urban settings may require an additional layer when providing such leadership in inner city settings.

We understand instructional leadership to be the depth at which a leader understands with academic integrity. An effective leader should have a solid understanding of reading, specifically, and a working knowledge of quality math instruction. In this era of classroom instructional coaches, the effective leader knows how to improve their personal skills by working in tandem with a content area expert, or classroom coach. In most suburban, and many urban environments, children who are below educational standards are in the minority. Therefore the numbers needing intensive remediation are much more manageable in nature. The effective leader skillfully matches the students’ needs with those of an accomplished teacher, while ensuring they have the additional resources necessary to achieve proficiency through this partnership. Many children in an inner city environment enter school with a major deficit between the intended levels and actual levels of proficiency. To provide support to the mission of academic achievement, and due to the sheer numbers of students in need, an assistant administrator must be equipped to leverage quality instruction with essential interventions. To this end, they must also understand at a deep level, how remediation is to be paralleled with enrichment to act as the catalyst to learning success. In making the determination for necessary strategies and skills, the assistant administrator must effectively analyze deficits, determine a plan of action and execute the plan in a succinct format.

In the age of technology there are programs that are both diagnostic and prescriptive in nature. Through a battery of online assessments these programs can determine student deficits and create a learning path to remediate those deficiencies. While it is agreed that technology is a major contributor to preparation, remediation and enrichment, it is not to negate the positive impact of a student’s time on task with a qualified instructor. To this end, it is important for assistant administrators to be clearly versed in indicators of teacher effectiveness. While teachers that provide authentic instruction could do so in any environment, many teachers in inner city environments reference the need to make more connections with students on a personal level to gain social-emotional access to them prior to educating them. The effective have realized the importance of this skill in every classroom setting, yet the teacher in an inner city setting may accomplish very little without it. Educators that have a proven track record of success in other environments admit that inner city work, in this era of high stakes accountability, is unlike any other experience. In probing for the cause, a portion of it proves to be the need to address students of such varying functioning levels, all at one time and often in the same classroom environment. Recognizing attempts are made to organize students who need overall enrichment in a different environment from those who need constant remediation, again a realization, students don’t learn everything at the same level, therefore making this systematic organizational style often impossible, and at the other end of the spectrum, undesirable. To meet the steep demands of inner city environments including the focus on accountability, teachers must exhibit a willingness to analyze student data and engage in problem solving around the results. While effective data analysis may allow teachers to isolate problems, true analysis entails observing contributing factors and determining a plan of action for each, in their inter-related capacities. While teachers must be equipped with the skills necessary for this degree of analysis, assistant administrators must have foundational skills that allow them to both teach and coach teachers on these most critical techniques. Recognizing that teachers may be more versed in their particular content area, assistant administrators must have a working understanding of the problem solving process as to facilitate true analysis for all content areas.

One of the greatest challenges of inner-city school leadership is the number of factors that detract from the learning process. Many students struggle to have their basic needs met and therefore are often mentally diverted from rigorous classroom activities. These distractions become less vexing when recognized at the onset and dealt with aptly. The assistant administrator needs to possess the ability to assess these societal impacts and leverage the proper community resources, within or without the school, to address the identified concern. Knowing what avenues are available, and the mode for access, is equally as important as recognizing what academic deficits a child possesses and interventions necessary to remediate those therein. While this may seem to be one of the less demanding areas, it must be realized that any area incongruous to academic achievement is one that causes dismay. The true test is to simultaneously address the social needs while accelerating scholastic abilities.

While suggestions outlined in this writing may serve as recommendations for assistant administrators, it can be implicit that building level leaders are engaged in the same leadership processes. The time an assistant administrator spends in that capacity needs to be one of true professional growth. They need pairings with principals strong in instructional leadership and management skills. This pairing will allow their tenure as an assistant administrator to be fulfilled through quality on-the-job training experiences. The assistant administrator must also accept that superior leadership, especially in an inner-city school, might require additional work hours and possibly days. This is not to imply that only those who work in inner-city environments spend exceptional amounts of time doing so, it is however, to confirm while quite likely in other environments, absolutely necessary in inner city environments. Assistant administrators must become students of the learning process and the work of leadership. They must set themselves apart as scholars. Those willing to research problems, identify solutions and documents results. Moreover in inner-city settings, assistant administrators must be willing to analyze data and take calculated risks to ensure success. Understanding that education is not “one-size-fits-all” to truly transcend expectations educators must not be recalcitrant, but willing to do whatever it takes to beat the odds.

Distance Education Master Degrees

A master’s degree is an academic degree that is awarded on completion of a postgraduate undergraduate program. There are various accredited colleges and universities that offer distance education postgraduate programs in accounting, paralegal, healthcare, business management, engineering, electronics, computer science, marketing, and hospitality management.

Distance education master’s degrees are usually preferred by working individuals, or by those who do not reside in the same place as the university that offers the course. Distance learning master’s degree courses offers quality, flexibility and an accrediated education, making them a viable option for working individuals wanting to acquire a master’s degree.

Many universities provide a cutting-edge curriculum taught by experts. Distance learning master’s degrees also give students complete control over the academic schedule and access to the Internet to take courses. Students can also join online study groups and converse with professors and peers at any time of day.

Universities offer these programs by providing study material and on-line counseling. Students can take exams online. This is important because students do not have to be present at a given time of the year and the schedules can be adjusted in case of work commitments.

Many online accredited universities and colleges such as University of Phoenix, Walden University and Capella University offer Master’s degree programs in education, curriculum design, e-education, educational leadership and teaching. The Master of Education online degree is designed for teachers, corporate instructors, military trainers and others who share a passion for learning and a desire to be at the forefront of modern education. The master’s degree in professional accounting (MSAC) provides specialized, graduate-level education to people seeking positions as professional accountants in industry, government and non-profit organizations. Online master’s degree programs are also offered in organizational management, business management and security management. This degree equips experienced professionals, leadership experts and management educators with specialized knowledge, management skills and the strategic business focus they need to confront the challenges inherent in managing today’s complex organizations.

Distance education allows people to earn a career-accelerating master’s degree on a flexible study schedule.

Higher Education Degree Programs

Do you exhibit excellent organizational skills, communicate effectively, enjoy working with the latest technology, and want a rewarding career in education? Then, perhaps you should consider obtaining a degree in higher education if working at a college or university sounds appealing. Higher education professionals are also very dedicated to their work.

This education will not only prepare you for career advancement, but also allow you to help individual students develop personally and professionally, obtain their degree, and find future work as leaders and inventors. The importance of higher education spans across many areas from culture to technology advancements and plays a crucial role in the economic well-being and scientific achievement of our country.

Offered at the master’s and doctoral level, these degree programs prepare students for work in educational leadership positions, such as administrators and managers. They train students to work with both staff and students in a variety of disciplines, ranging from instruction to curriculum development to educational management. Students learn about curriculum development, classroom management, and educational technologies. These programs integrate current theory, best practices, and practical application opportunities. They also provide students opportunities to conduct independent research projects, network with other academic professionals, and complete internships. Higher education students also gain the skills they need to develop curriculum, manage staff, and work within a budget.

Coursework typically includes foundations of theory and practice, survey of research methodology, leadership, adult education methods, curriculum development, and the management, assessment, and legal issues relevant to an advanced education. The politics, history, philosophy, administration, and leadership of higher education, and the funding and managing of education enterprises encompass additional material covered in these programs. Students also attend courses in the future of teaching and learning, instructional design, applied research and qualitative methods, adult development, learning and education, and workplace training and development. Program development and management of community education, human resources foundation development, grant writing, and student personnel services are additional classes provided in advanced programs. Others include distance and online learning programs, college teaching principles and the organization, administration, and supervision of adult education programs.

Many rewarding career options open up to higher education graduates at both public and private universities nationwide. Most work as deans, department chairs, researchers, professors, or hold other higher-level education administrative positions in high schools and colleges. Higher education administrators maintain academic quality and reputation, establish academic policies, coordinate and develop academic programs, manage budgets and finances, and recruit, hire, and manage faculty. Those seeking teaching positions in adult education programs, universities, and colleges must also take the necessary courses and meet certification requirements, often including and not limited to student teaching. Others find employment within corporate settings as benefits administrators, instructors and training, curriculum and development, or labor relations specialists. Some work as employee assistant program managers, agency counselors, community activists, media organizers, and program designers or planners.

Leadership Tips For Hotel Managers

As a person who guides or directs others in the hotel management field, it is important to understand what leadership requires and what some of the different styles of leadership are. If you can understand what kind of leadership style you have, it will become easier to take on the role of leader and change your style based on the needs of your employees.

Effective leaders look at the office environment and listen to their employees in order to ensure that the end result, the customer, is satisfied. Employees are watching those who are put in charge of them, so here are some tips to help you as a hotel manager to show impeccable character and earn the trust and respect of your employees – by giving it back.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #1:

Saying “No”, Hostility Free. This is a true talent. Neutralizing hostility when denying the request of an employee is a necessity to keep order in the work environment. The key to reducing hostility in this situation is to show concern and be sincere as you explain in detail the reason for the denial. Your employees will respect you for being honest and for showing concern.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #2:

Leadership is About Relationships – But Not the Dating Kind. Build relationships with your employees that show care and concern about their employee relationship with you, but do not date in the office. Interoffice dating is unprofessional and has been proven to only cause problems sooner than later.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #3:

Consistency and Fairness. Treating your employees fairly and consistently will give you respect and will build your character as a fair and equitable leader.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #4:

Show Camaraderie, Don’t Become “Buddies” With Your Employees. Sharing your thoughts and providing feedback to your employees is an excellent way to open up and show camaraderie. It is important not to become “buddies” with your employees because it could give the false impression of favoritism and tarnish your credibility.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #5:

Acknowledge and Take Care of Complaints. When employees complain, their issues are very important to them. They do not know that to your world of bigger issues, their issues are not so big. Make your employees feel important by handling their complaints in a timely manner.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #6:

Make Commitments That You Can Keep. Making commitments to employees in the form of promises can make or break your employee respect of you. Do not make commitments without allowing yourself the fail-safe of explaining that unforeseen circumstances may occur that are out of your control. Respect and confidence in your leadership is very important and can change abruptly when commitments are broken.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #7:

Never Stop Learning. Continue to be a part of trainings, life enrichment courses, seminars and workshops on building your leadership qualities. The more you learn, the more you will grow as a leader, and your employees will admire you for continuing your education.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #8:

Hire Experts to Motivate Your Employees. Your employee morale is important and their attitudes carry over to the attitudes of the customers that you serve. Enrich your employees by sending in experts to motivate them to produce. This will super-charge your work team’s efforts and give you more respect because it shows that your employee’s motivation is important to you.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #9:

Provide Opportunities for Training and Growth. Employees want to advance and take on more responsibility. Providing training for your employees will allow them to take on more complicated tasks and have a sense of fulfillment.

Leadership Tips for Hotel Managers #10:

Lead with a Varying Style. If you have a diverse team of employees who have different needs, it is important to vary your style of leadership for your particular group. If your team is consistent in their needs, then it is okay to adopt one leadership style but only if it meets the needs of your team effectively.

Make sure that all the leadership tools you are using will be beneficial to not only yourself but also to your employees, this in turn will make your business successful.

Definition of Leadership Qualities

There is no single statement that one can give as the definition of leadership. It is a term that has many aspects to it. Extraordinary is an attribute of a good leader. Most people regard them as the “X” leaders. This is because they go the extra mile to ensure things are working the way they ought to. Such leaders always keep rediscovering themselves by acquiring new skills. They care deeply for their followers.

Different people have contradicting ideas as whether leaders are made or if they are born. Whichever you stand for, there is one common thing. All leaders must be able to influence others. He must be a catalyst that quickens a positive reaction in people. Great leaders are those who put the interest of the people before them. Some have even died in their quest for justice and equality.

Keeping a keen eye on current events is important in the definition of leadership. A leader should be able to understand the environment in which he lives. He should be very flexible to allow changes to occur. Proper guidance and responsibility is needed to train young leaders. This is the only way that they will be able to be effective in the future.

Charisma is one aspect that can’t be forgotten in the definition of leadership. Discipline is one thing that a good leader must have. Without it, the leader cannot be able to instill positive values in his followers. A leader can easily loose credibility among his followers. Once it is known that all he does is for his own gain, a leader will lose popularity.

Army Leadership

Some believe leaders are born. Others believe leaders are made. Army leadership is aimed at instilling a warrior culture in each soldier. It is also aimed at meeting the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) and Contemporary Operating Environment objectives. Its objective is to create self awareness among leaders and the willingness to be adaptive. There are certain responsibilities that are attached to being a leader. You must be able to incorporate the values and training of being a soldier to everyone under you.

You must encourage innovation and the warrior culture in each soldier. There are certain mentor programs for the soldiers that are given online. The mentors are meant to guide upcoming soldiers into being good warriors. They pass on their knowledge in order to develop skill and self confidence in young soldiers. Army leadership provides the needed capability to support national security and defense strategy.

There are many qualities of a leader of soldiers. Good communication skills is a must. He must maintain tactical and technical competence. He must be loyal to the American constitution. He must respect others in order to be respected. He must provide selfless service to the nation. He should maintain integrity at all times and follow the ethics in his place of work. The leader should be able to face challenges without any fears.

Effective army leadership involves influencing others positively to achieve the goals of the government. It involves being a good role model for upcoming soldiers. An effective leader should therefore be able to translate goals into real actions. He should be aware of his strengths and weaknesses. Thus, he must be able to tactfully blend each so as to achieve the best results.

The Magnet School Craze In America – Nu Leadership Series

” Every failure is a blessing in disguise, providing it teaches some needed lesson one could not have learned without it. Most so-called Failures are only temporary defeats.”

Napoleon Hill

As the new millennium begins, America remains the Land of Opportunity to many across the globe. However, America continues to be haunted by the past. Is this American opportunity equal for all? The 1968 Kerner Commission Report, a presidential panel on race relations, concluded that America was “moving towards two societies, one Black, one White, separate and unequal.” (, 1998) In 1998, a follow-up study by the Eisenhower Foundation declared the situation had worsened. It further stated the economic and racial breach had widened, with America’s neighborhoods and schools re-segregating; child poverty was up over 20% since the 1980’s, a situation that disproportionately affected minorities (, 1998).

The Civil Rights Movement provided the thrust toward a more integrated and effective education for all Americans. However, no one said that it was meant to last. Today, society views education as “separate but equal.” Proponents of “the land of opportunity” jargon would argue it is the best of times for all American children. On the contrary, it is difficult to ignore the inferior quality of education in urban areas without addressing the increasing trend of a segregated education system for people of color and poor children.

Magnet schools, as a part of a federal school desegregation solution, became a hot commodity during the 1990s. The approach was simple: draw White students to predominately Black schools in the inner city by offering well-funded themed schools, such as performing arts or science and technology, which combined innovative learning with an integrated school. Today, there are more than 3,000 magnet or theme-based schools (Rossell, 2003).

Magnet schools differ in how they implement their programs. Some offer a magnet program to all students in the school that is called a whole school (WS) format while the program within a school (PWS) format offers magnet curricula to some but not all of the students in the school (Department of Education [DOE], 2003). Pegged as a way to integrate urban schools and curb White students from leaving, magnet schools have failed their original mission. Currently, the enrollment of magnet schools includes a high proportion of minority students (73% on average) and students living in poverty (60% on average). Given this reality, magnet schools must change their strategies or accept the fact that they are not meeting the intent of their original mission. Time will time if they select either.


Department of Education (2003). Evaluation of the magnet schools assistance program, 1998 Grantees, Office of the Under Secretary.

PBS. org (1998). A Nation Divided. The NewsHour with Jim Lehler Transcript. Received on April 4, 2007, from

Rossell, C. (2002). The desegregation efficiency of magnet schools. Boston University, pp. 1-24.