Introduction. An academe is an academic community, a campus life or an academic world for that matter (Hoppe, 2004). In such a community, there are diverse issues, cultures, behavior, norms that are different to every individual. Such a community needs a type of leadership that has strong moral values, a strong leadership posture which is capable to deal with the increasingly diverse tensions and dilemmas. In campus, there are many students from different communities and backgrounds with different diverse ethnic affiliations and upbringing. Such students require a type of leadership that is able to deliver what is expected of leaders. Leadership is a form of or a process of administering change to either a team or a group.
Leadership is different from management in that is relates to a process of continuity, that is, a transition from the present to the future (Hoppe, 2004). This essay will address the strong leadership qualities within an increasingly diverse community and will also recognize ways in which leadership behavior is independent upon and how it adjusts to various internal, external and personal circumstances. It will give conclusions on the various ways of improving leadership in the academic community with the aim of giving proper and structured leadership. A leader is associated with change that is positive and not negative. All people are considered to be potential leaders, and therefore a leader is not just there for the purposes of mere leadership but should be one who fosters change that can be seen and felt (Astin, Leadership reconsidered).
The Concept of leadership. According to Alexander (2000), ‘leadership is all about administering change’, ‘leadership is based on values’, ‘every one is a leader in making’, and sums it up by saying that ‘leadership concerns and affects group the whole group’. In an institution of higher learning, leadership has primary purposes within the institutions (Hoppe, 2004). The first purpose is to encourage and enable students, the various faculties, administrators plus other members of staff including the teaching and non-teaching with the aim of transforming and changing the communities for them to deliver as expected, foster student development, enhance a sense of learning in the institution, impart knowledge to the students and also be of service to the community. The other purpose of leadership in a university community is to provide empowerment to students so that they can become ambassadors of hope, peace and change to the community at large. Students should have such attributes in order for them to exist well in the community and cope with the rest of the people around them. This can only be found through leadership (Berquist, 1992).
As the students grow, they need such inspirations and these ought to come from their leaders. If the leaders do not provide the required leadership, who will?Leadership as provided by students. Students can also be leaders at the university. While at the university, students emulate their leaders who impart leadership characteristic and qualities that can be emulated by the students. Such a community can not only rely on the members of staff to give direction, it also needs direction from students who are part of the community.
If students lead other students, there develops a sense of responsibility and good leadership in the positive direction. Leadership experience and development is necessary for college and university students (Hoppe, 2004). While at the institutions, students should be developed into better leaders of tomorrow. This development in terms of leadership is extremely important as it helps in the enriching of the experience expected at the undergraduate level.
It is quite obvious that students make up a large percentage of the college population. This shows that they are placed in a better situation to change the universities’ culture by taking into account the major principles of quality leadership and using such principles in their day to day interaction and communication with other students. Students in most cases have their governing committees and groups that are meant to address the various grievances that they face in their day to day life at the university. These bodies require effective leaders who are ready and willing to articulate such issues to the universities’ management (Berquist, 1992). Student leaders ought to have the necessary leadership skills in order for them for lead the rest of the students effectively an properly. Such leadership skills cold be used to build bridges and meant differences between the various diverse cultures in the university’s community.Leadership styles and types in a community. In a community such as the university, leaders ought to employ a style of leadership that is all inclusive.
The leaders ought to exercise a participative leadership style where all the parties concerned, that is the students and leaders, are responsible to their way of leadership. An autocratic style of leadership is not recommended in such a community. This is due to the nature of the diverse cultural beliefs that exist in the universities (Bass, 1990, pp.
52). A participative type of leadership is the one recommended for such an institution. Here, the students are involved in the decision making and general running of the university. On the other hand, free reign leadership is also not recommended as it sets the students in a manner that they might do anything as there is not close supervision the university’s management. For leaders to be effective in what they do, they should have vision that is implementable, they should be trusted leaders, they should be ready and able to share power with other people, they should be willing to learn and experiment as well and lastly, they should be leaders who give credit to where it deserve (Bass, 1990, pp.60).Conclusion. In every workplace, there ought to be leaders.
Institutions of higher learning are places that are diverse environments. Such a community has many people from different places, different cultural beliefs, different views and opinions as well as different educational and social backgrounds. Such a diverse community requires leaders that know what they want and what they are doing. The leaders in subject should be those who are able to analyze a situation, offer a solution and follow up to see the outcome of the solution. Leadership behavior should be dependent upon various internal, external and personal circumstances. Students should be led in a professional manner in order to avert circumstances of student unrest, tensions and dilemmas within the university’s fraternity.
Leaders should be able to bent some of the rules and regulations especially where a situation bids (Berquist, 1992). It is therefore, the responsibility of the academe leaders and the students to come up and ways that will help enhance leadership in order to prevent what has been happening at the institutions over a period of time.References.Astin, A. W., ; Astin, H.
S. Leadership reconsidered: Engaging higher education in social change. W. K. Kellogg Foundation. www.
wkkf.orgBass, B. M. (1990). Bass ; Stogdills handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications.
New York: Simon and Schuster ISBN: 0029015006 BookBerquist, W. H. (1992). The four cultures of the academy: Insights and strategies for improving leadership in collegiate organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-BassHoppe, S.
(2004). Identifying and preparing academic leaders: New directions for higher education. New York: Wiley ; Sons.;