In our long-time roles as senior communications counsel to university presidents, we know first-hand that the presidency is among the most complex and challenging jobs in the country.
On March 8, the University of Michigan men’s basketball team along with the cheerleaders and pep band members were all on their way to the Big Ten tournament when the unthinkable happened. Their chartered plane, just clearing the ground during takeoff, was caught in high winds. It came down hard and skidded off the runway.
The Atlantic magazine ran a piece on March 2 with this provocative title: “Being Quiet Is Part of Being a Good CEO.” The story was about research by Hal Gregersen, executive director of MIT’s Leadership Center, who interviewed more than 200 senior business leaders to find out what makes them successful at transformational change.
Gregersen notes that leaders become increasingly isolated as they rise higher in the food chain. “The challenge becomes that once people move into leadership roles, they often spend too much time in offices and too little time out on the edge of their organizations where people are voicing legitimate, honest concerns about what’s working and what isn’t,” he said. “We fail to ask new questions when we stop being in different places around different people. When that stops happening, we’re crippled by lack of information.” Continue reading
Growing up “downriver” of Detroit, she was emancipated at 15. She had no health insurance, no dental insurance, and no home address – because she had no permanent home back then. During her early days in college, she worried what would happen when the academic year wrapped up. Students couldn’t stay in the residence halls over the summer months.
When my partner and I are hired to provide external assessments for college and universities, we are asked to offer objective perspective on in-house organizational structures, expenditures and effectiveness –based on our many years of experience and knowledge of the industry.
It’s a good idea, and here’s why: