Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education > ‘Seduction of the Leader’ (Part 2)

‘Seduction of the Leader’ (Part 2)

By Patrick Sanaghan and Larry Goldstein

In a previous article, we discussed a pernicious dynamic that many campus presidents are victims of as they endeavor to lead their institutions. We identified it as “the seduction of the leader,” a term that was first introduced to us by our colleague Rodney Napier. In short, it describes how presidents often do not receive pertinent information and honest feedback about their ideas because followers are reluctant to provide it to them. This is not an ill-intentioned attempt by followers to misinform the president, but there are several enablers that keep this dynamic alive.

Many followers believe the president represents “the institution” with all its power, tradition, history and complexity. They are reluctant to push back on the president’s ideas or tell it like it really is because it might be disrespectful to the office of the president and, therefore, discourteous to the institution. At other times people lack the courage and the skill to provide different perspectives or ask the president the tough questions needed to make good decisions for the campus. Still others might be intimidated by the president’s intelligence, persona or sheer charisma.

Continued at: http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2011/05/27/essay_on_college_leaders_and_the_advice_they_receive

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