Leadership Institute members (left to right) Dawn Swain, Jean Coffield and Paul Hofmann
"Exploring leadership opportunities and seizing those opportunities are two very different things," President Carol Cartwright told the incoming group of 20 participants in the Bowling Green Leadership Institute this morning.
The institute is designed to help administrative staff members learn leadership techniques and styles and implement them. "You don't need a title to be a leader," Cartwright said, echoing Dean of Students Jill Carr's instruction that the group "checks our titles at the door." Mid-level managers lead "across lines, from the bottom up and from the top down. You move in and out of these roles throughout the day."
Their personal professional growth will benefit the University greatly, Carr said. "It will help us make better use of limited and shrinking resources through collaboration. This is such a relational campus—we really depend on those interactions to accomplish our goals." In addition to teaching leadership skills, the institute fosters understanding of how the campus functions and provides a strong network for participants.
The commitment to participate in the institute involves attending monthly, daylong meetings from today through May, reading and studying several books, including The 360-Degree Leader and Learning to Lead: A Handbook, homework assignments and, most importantly, developing self-knowledge.
Cartwright said it is important to know "who you are and what drives you, as a base for developing leadership." She firmly believes leadership can be taught and that mentors are more important than textbook learning. They can model crucial listening and team-building skills as well as management skills. "You can't be an effective leader without being an effective manager," she said, explaining that a leader must make an organization's "vision come to life. You have to know how to get stuff done."
Voters considering the question of a BGSU faculty union gathered yesterday at a Faculty Senate-hosted forum to hear the arguments of the administration, the pro-union group, those opposed to a faculty union, and representatives from Kent State and Cincinnati universities.