No Need for Term Limits: And then there were 3

In case you’re keeping score at home, since the “Presidential Shake-up” of 2011, and the mass hiring that June (except for the KK President who was hired in November of that year), the lineup card of CCC Presidents looks like this:

HW: Don Laackman (2011-2013); search underway shortly;

DA: Jose Aybar (2009-Current);

KK: Joyce Ester (2011-2013); Arshelle Stevens (2013-Current–who has her critics);

MX: Anthony Munroe (2011-Current);

OH: Craig Follins (2011-2014); search underway;

TR: Reagan Romali (2011-Current–though she almost left last year);

WR: Jim Palos (2011-2012); Don Laackman (interim); David Potash (2013-Current);

At the press conference announcing their hiring, the Mayor said, ““With this leadership, CCC will be ready to realize its potential as the economic engine of our region and ensure Chicagoans are prepared with the skills to succeed in today’s competitive global economy.” I guess the job was one that didn’t take very long?

Random Summer Reading Post #1: Some Interesting Stuff On Leadership

Found these last week. Thought some people might find them thought provoking.

Joel Stein writes in the Harvard Business Review:

after spending time with a range of leaders for my new book, Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity, I learned that my vision of what makes a good leader was all wrong. I spent hours working alongside fire chiefs, army captains, Boy Scout troop leaders, and others who guide teams. To my surprise, the best of them tended to be quiet listeners who let other people make most of the decisions. They weren’t particularly charismatic. Or funny. They weren’t the toughest guys in the pack. They didn’t have a Clintonian need to be liked, or a Patton-like intensity. They were, on the whole, a little boring.

The topic is also developed a bit in this piece from The Globe and Mail:

Not long ago a study by Stephen Kaplan from the Chicago Booth School of Business showed good chief executive officers tend to be dull. They are dogged, efficient, good at detail and happy to work round the clock. Last week, the same point was made by the writer Joel Stein in a blog for the Harvard Business Review (HBR), in which he argued that boringness was the secret to great leadership.

Despite the fact that Prof. Kaplan and Mr. Stein are evidently on to something rather big, many HBR readers responded to the latter’s article with hostility: They simply couldn’t accept the idea that good leaders are bores.

But my favorite-est part of either is at the end of the Globe and Mail piece:

So what can people do who have had the severe misfortune to have been born interesting? They can try publishing, of course, if there are any jobs left. Or they can teach, or write, or direct films, or become poets and philosophers. Better still, they can marry a successful bore to bankroll their unremunerative activities, or if all else fails, they can curl up in a corner and read far too many books ever to count.

Guilty as charged on all counts!

Leadership Reading

Just in case you’re out there looking for some reading on leadership–maybe you’re thinking about running for chair next year, or applying for a Deanship, or maybe you’re a new muckety muck of some sort or other , I’ve run across a couple of things in the last few weeks that might be interesting:

~This one is about how leaders can avoid bad advice–it’s written for President’s but it’s true, from my experience, for Chairs as well as anybody who leads anybody in any regard (as a bonus, there’s some quality advice in the comments, too);

~And this is a list of books on leadership put together by some people from The Washington Post. The only one I can say anything knowledgeable about is the one by Joseph Badarocco, who teaches Business Ethics at Harvard. I’ve read some of his other stuff and found it to be interesting and well done. I don’t know the book listed, but I’d venture to guess that it isn’t terrible. If anyone has read any of the others, please put something in the comments.

Academics and Business Managers

This was interesting. It isn’t the article I would have written, and it’s a bit off from what we do, regarding the life of an academic, but it is interesting anyway.

It’s titled, “How an Academic Is Not a Business Executive.”

Though obviously in broad strokes, I will argue that there are four major disparities setting academics and business executives apart: their sources of professional recognition, the targets of their work efforts, their relationships with competing organizations, and the degree of homogeneity of the task across organizations.

There are, certainly, other salient differences: for instance, the power of superiors to govern the behavior of subordinates (much greater in corporations), the diverse form and function of internal politics (more collectivistic, group-based in universities), or their time-frame orientations (yearly results much more critical in corporations than in universities). But those pertain more to the nature of the organizations, while my focus here is on the characteristics of the professions of the academic and the business executive.

Voice of the Union

From an article by Randi Weingarten, President of the AFT:

I suppose it should be obvious that bare-knuckles brawling is unlikely to lead to progress, but I have to admit it took me a while to see things this way. When I first became a union leader, I was quick to identify the enemy, fire up members and wage war for what I believed to be right. Eventually, I learned that if you set out looking for a fight, you’ll find one — but you probably won’t find a solution.

This is a lesson that AFT members and leaders have taken to heart. Today, teacher union leaders still must fight for the tools and conditions that support teaching and learning, and for smart education policies. More and more, however, our leaders are building strong relationships with school administrators, doing the hard work of collaborative school improvement — and producing better results for children.

The rest is here.

Not Pulling Punches

Is how I would describe this article by Henry Giroux about the Mayor of New York’s choice to run the schools there. Holy smokes.

Check it out:

Bloomberg’s actions once again suggest the power of a business culture and corporate class that despises debate, hates the formative culture that makes democracy possible and is willing to strip public education of all of those values and practices that suggest that it might serve as a democratic public sphere for generations of young people. Under this market-driven notion of schooling, management has been embraced as a Petri dish for stripping education of even minimal ethical principles and poses a growing threat to public life and the promise of democracy. Mayor Bloomberg’s notion of management does not identify agencies of change, hope and social responsibility because these are attributes that inform democratic modes of leadership. There is no call to liberate the imagination in his view of management, just the often strident, if not illiterate, attempt to measure knowledge, bestow learning with the most stripped-down capacities and sever teachers and education from any notion of self- and social empowerment and social change. Market-driven notions of management do not mobilize the individual imagination and social visions. On the contrary, they do everything possible to make them irrelevant to the discourse of leadership. Bloomberg’s appointment of an entirely unqualified, former Hearst executive is symptomatic of the crisis of leadership we face currently in the United States, when democratic visions and public values fall into disrepute. In this instance, Bloomberg and the market-driven billionaires who support his view of education are now asking the American people to be proud of what we, in fact, should be ashamed of – the rise of a market-driven business culture that hates democracy and the forms of education that make it possible.

The rest is HERE.

And there’s another one (a little less fiery, from the UK), here; also worth reading.