My primary loyalty has to be to the mission of Southwestern College. Sometimes that will mean that individuals will be significantly unhappy, even angry. Being a leader means keeping a focus on the highest level of your responsibility, and trying your best to explain that to people who, in the moment, sometimes can only see their own personal situation and point of view, and how they are being impacted.
One tries to be sensitive, empathic, and collaborative, while remaining unwavering on the big picture.
That’s easier to do on paper.
Today’s decisions impact students of the College well into the future.
Often our national and corporate leadership make decisions which, short term, will win them a battle, or a bonus, or a re-election, or result in rocketing stock prices. We often wonder whether much consideration was given to the longer term ramifications.
I have heard that the Iroquois consider the impact of their decisions to the seventh generation out.
That is closer to the way I have to think about leadership decisions for Southwestern College. How will financial decisions today impact the College’s ability to build on the new land in 2020?
We are increasingly encouraged and trained to not look that far out, but to focus on the ROI (return on investment) today. immediately. Will this degree make me great money the FIRST year out of school? If we change the curriculum from 98 to 91 credit hours, aren’t we going to lose income?
If we only ask about the more immediate impact, we are missing a very big picture.
Leadership means keeping the big picture in mind. Always. Even if and when we are the only ones doing so…