Lessons from a University President – part 2

University of Pittsburgh Seal

University of Pittsburgh Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Chancellor Mark Nordenberg who is retiring from the University of Pittsburgh after an 18 year run as the leader of this prestigious university. If you missed that post, you can find it here, https://jvearle.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/lessons-from-a-university-president/.

I had the good fortune of hearing Nordenberg speak about leadership on one occasion.  I took away 11 key leadership lessons.  The first 6 are here and, for the sake of brevity, the remaining will be in my next post.

Competence is key and it is critical at every stage in life.  My thoughts:  As leaders, our competence helps us to establish our credibility.  We must have basic competence and abilities to get the job done.  When we do, our team members believe in us and are more likely to follow us.

Leadership responsibilities must be shared.  My thoughts:  We can’t do it alone.  If we think we can, we will fail.  The best leaders, perhaps not so coincidentally, have the best teams.  These leaders know the value of teamwork and understand that they must share leadership responsibilities in order to succeed.

Develop a “partnering rhythm” with your team.  My thoughts:  I had never heard this concept of a “partnering rhythm” before, but I like the idea very much.  It emphasizes the importance of a strong leadership team that works together and supports each other.  If the leadership team models this partnering approach, the rest of the organization will emulate this and your entire organization will function with a “partnering rhythm.”

The ability to communicate effectively – for making a case and giving direction – is critical.  My thoughts:  Effective communication is necessary to share your vision, to build teamwork, to set expectations, to provide performance feedback, and to celebrate successes.  Simply, if you can’t communicate, you can’t lead.

Character is important to leave people feeling confident that good things will happen.  My thoughts:  As leaders, we need to provide our teams with hope and confidence that the future is bright.  When our team members see a leader with character, they feel this hope.

Keep your ethics.  My thoughts:  Our team members are always watching us.  If they see a leader who is unethical, they will either be disappointed and question their willingness to follow or they will see that unethical behavior is okay and will also be unethical.  Neither is the behavior we want from our teams.

These are tremendous lessons from a very successful leader.  Begin using these right now as you lead your organization.  And remember to check back later this week for the final lessons from Chancellor Mark Nordenberg.

Thanks for reading,
Jim

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:

Twitter @jvearle
Blog http://www.jvearle.wordpress.com
Facebook JVEarleConsulting
Book 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781625107312

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