Welcome to my Mini Blog on Leadership, where I record everyday micro thoughts and observations. Thank you to all of the leaders with whom I work. It is a privilege.
EFFECTIVE MEETINGS – THE KEY TO GOOD LEADERSHIP
Sonja Fritzsche, November 10, 2019
Think back to the best or worst meetings you have attended or led. What was successful? What did not work? Where did they go wrong? And why do we need to meet in the first place? Too often colleagues are brought together and expected to collaborate without attention paid first to the needs of the humans present and the intentional creation of a community culture and definitions of ways of being with each other. Effective meetings are based in community values and norms and grounded in the trust that forms from adhering to these and revisiting them when they are questioned or disregarded. A community can be as little as 2 people. It is incumbent on the leader/facilitator/coordinator to schedule and prepare effectively, decide with the others who, what, where, when, why, how, and ensure that any pre-meetings, the meeting itself, and next steps/follow ups proceed in a manner that is equitable, inclusive, and transparent. The process is much like preparing a successful class plan or syllabus grounded in student-centered, active learning pedagogies that attends to the unique backgrounds, preparations, and interests of the students themselves. Often a key indicator of successful meeting leadership is how many of the participants are empowered through meeting format and content. A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “10 Ways to Better Manage Your Meetings” highlights a number of useful tips. Be creative, do what works for all of the people present, and establish a community of practice that can be built upon in the future.
BECOME A GRASSROOTS LEADER
Sonja Fritzsche, November 8, 2019
Leadership takes many forms. Informal leaders discover their power in listening, sharing information, expanding someone’s network, mentoring on the choices of several directions. I am continually inspired by Adrianna Kezar’s and Jaime Lester’s still very relevant Enhancing Campus Capacity for Leadership, particularly the chapter 12 – Encouraging Faculty and Staff Grassroots Leadership.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MY FRIEND?
Sonja Fritzsche, November 6, 2019
Occupying a new formal leadership position suddenly means you have acknowledged power, no matter the level. A friend may suddenly treat a new leader very differently. They may no longer be seeing the person, but the position. The most nimble friend may be able to adapt. Other friendships may need to be put on hold, so respect this situation as it is not always your decision to make. Some friendships may end. Be patient with yourself and others.