The challenges and opportunities facing higher education are only growing. Ambitious leaders are needed to pave the way to a new era of higher education. If you’ve been considering leadership in higher education, this is a decisive moment. What steps can you take if you’re ready to rise to the role of a college president?
The initial stage of preparation involves personal introspection. Our previous article listed three questions to ask yourself if you’re considering a higher education presidency. With your goal clear, you can move forward into concrete steps of collaboration. There are three ways you can set a trajectory of higher education leadership.
Discuss your decision. One of the first steps you need to take if you’ve decided that you’d like to pursue a college presidency is to talk with your family. Notice that I didn’t say “tell your family.” This must be a two-way conversation. It’s likely that you’ve broached the topic over the years, and you may assume that they are on board. However, a hypothetical future change is very different from an imminent upending of their routine and relationships. Ask specific questions and be open to hearing their perspective and feelings. Do they embrace the new role? Are they ready to move? Are they prepared for the culture of a different region if you need to relocate? What are their hesitations and fears? Talk first with your spouse and then with your children, if applicable. This shouldn’t be a one-time conversation to check a box, but an ongoing and developing dialogue.
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