what it takes
to lead a
Syracuse University Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw (http://whitman.syr.edu/shaw) drew on more than two decades of experience as a leader in higher education to write The Successful President: "BuzzWords" on Leadership. "I don't believe it is possible to write a prescription for leadership," he writes in the preface. "The best I can offeror any student of the subject can offerare insights and guidelines to help make the process of leading more effective and more rewarding." |
The Chancellor discussed his views on leadership with Syracuse University Magazine. The following excerpts are from that conversation.
Your book is based on leadership in higher education. How applicable do you believe it is to other leadership settings?
I intentionally mention in the foreword that I've really only worked as a leader in higher education, and that I didn't feel I could presume to know what is needed in other areas. But I think the attributes of leadership are the same, regardless of the institution.
How does your leadership role at Syracuse University work within the broader community?
The most important part of my role is that I am the leader of this University. Let's start with that and go back to the second chapter of the book, where leadership is defined. From leadership comes a vision. That is not often the leader's vision, rather it is a vision that reflects the ideas of a lot of people and an understanding of the values of an institution. Leadership involves envisioning what an institution should be like, communicating that vision, and doing the things that are needed to make it possible for the vision to be carried out. That is my job as the leader of Syracuse University.
My job in the community entails being both the leader of this University and a citizen of this community. My job as the leader of this University is to make sure that the things we do help make the community better, because that is in our best interests. My job as a citizen is to do things that help to make the community better, because that is a responsibility we all have. I'm very active in community economic development. Mrs. Shaw and I are involved with a number of agencies and boards within the community. In addition, we have been very active in getting thousands of our students involved in community service activities, which is a very important part of our mission.