Know Your Self

An effective leader first understands who they are as an individual, including both strengths and weakness, as well as one’s leadership style preferences. This includes identifying one emotions and biases, how these effect those they work, and learning how to effectively mange them.

Know Your Institution

An effective leader understands the larger institutional context (e.g., institutional mission, vision, strategic plan, resource strategies, value propositions, enrollment trends, etc.) and how their unit fits within that context.

Know Your Students

Students are the core demographic for any academic enterprise. Therefore, leaders in higher education must have a deep understanding of who their students are and what is needed to help them be successful.

Know Your Team

The members of your team, whether faculty, staff or students, are important component to your success.  You need to understand who they, what motivates them, and what they need to be successful.

Know Your Context

The entire higher education sector is experiencing significant amounts of change, from demographic transformations to economic upheavals to new forms of public and private resources going to higher education.  Leaders across higher education need to understand what is happening in the broader environment and to make sure their respective departments are effectively responding to these changes.

Know Your Skills

The skills required to be a successful faculty member are not necessarily those that one needs to be a successful department or program chair.  Today’s chairs need to team builders, supervisors, decision makers, conflict adjudicators, data scientists, budget managers, resource generators, and so forth. These skills are not developed overnight, but effective chairs recognize the need to grow their skills and seek out ways to develop and hone the skill sets necessary to be an effective leader.