Leading researchers: the literature
Bryman's paper, 'Effective Leadership in Higher Education, for the Leadership Foundation' provides us with a hugely helpful summary of the massive literature, set in an HE context. It is helpfully brief (under 40 pages) and easily and freely obtained from the Leadership Foundation's website.
What is especially reassuring is the comment that the key messages about leadership (not management) are very similar. Here are two offerings from Locke (2003) and Kouzes & Posner (2003):
Locke's tasks of a top leader
Vision - what the organisation should be like
Core values - what the organisation stands for
Structuring - to support strategy
Selection & training - recruiting appropriate people
Motivating employees - includes role modelling, empowerment, goal-setting, recognition, rewards, and building morale
Communicating - cultivating communication throughout the organisation
Kouzes and Posner's Leadership Challenge Model
As a result of a large number of surveys of the kinds of leadership that works best for most people, Kouzes and Posner came up with five factors:
Modelling the way - leading by example in a manner that is consistent with leader's stated values; celebrating 'small wins' that signify achievements consistent with values; dismantling barriers to achievement of values.
Inspiring a shared vision - developing a compelling vision of the future and enlisting the commitment of others.
Challenging the process - being on the look-out for opportunities to improve the organisation and being prepared to experiment.
Enabling others to act - promoting collaborative working; empowering others; building trust
Encouraging the heart - recognising individuals' contributions; celebrating accomplishments.
It will be useful for you to reflect on your own experiences of leading and being led.
Which of the items listed above seem to you to be the most important, and which might you find hardest to do yourself?