These are different times for leaders. The 21st century has hastened many new and
unique situations that challenge us to respond with a particular style and tact.
Of all the above approaches, the transformational style, in my opinion, captures
the essence of what we do today. It’s a focus on vision with a pragmatic approach.
Success depends on a leader’s ability to motivate, energize, push the envelope,
challenge the members of the organization, and have the vision to keep the institution vital and dynamic in times of change.
It’s up to us to bridge the
gap between developmental
education and graduation,
which has to be a part of any
college’s strategic plan. Community colleges continue to
be responsive and nimble,
even as funding cuts force
We have been trained as
leaders to make it work no
matter what the circumstances. So many of our students have sacrificed so much just to make it through our
doors. We owe it to them to provide a clear path to academic and career success.
By helping our students, we also help our communities at large. Many of our students will go on to become leaders in their own right. By combining our leadership
and education knowledge with the skills and insights of business and industry partners, including today’s most successful corporate CEOs, we create an environment
that empowers and emboldens our students to reach, even exceed, their potential.
By helping our students, we also help our communities at large.
A Leader Is Special
Community college leaders are extremely dedicated and committed to their students, faculty, and staff. The operations and organizations are complex and complicated. The leaders of today strongly believe that they can make a difference.
Our successes are great, as we witnessed firsthand at our commencement exercises
early this month and last.
We continue to hire faculty who provide quality instruction with rigor equivalent
to any other higher education institution, two-year or four-year.
The next century will see a changed landscape. With testing companies re-examining
their instruments, the redesign of developmental education, alternative funding
measures and partnerships, and the continued preparation of the next generation of
leaders, community colleges will continue to play a central role in our future good.
Myrtle e.B. Dorsey is AACC board chair and chancellor of St. Louis Community
College in St. Louis, Mo.
These are some of the top-rated leadership books, both old and new, that
have guided me and other presidents:
Leadership Jazz: The Art of Conducting
Business Through Leadership, Followership,
Teamwork, Voice, Touch by Max DePree
The Creative Community College: Leading
Change Through Innovation by John E. Roueche,
M. Melissa Richardson, Phillip W. Neal, and
Suanne D. Roueche
Leadership Is an Art by Max DePree
On Leadership by John William Gardner
Leadership From the Inside Out: Becoming a
Leader for Life by Kevin Cashman
Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within by
Robert E. Quinn
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the
Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins
In Search of Excellence: Lessons From America’s
Best-Run Companies by Thomas J. Peters and
Robert H. Waterman
Why Leaders Can’t Lead: The Unconscious
Conspiracy Continues by Warren G. Bennis
The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and
for Our Leaders, Third Edition by Ira Chaleff
What Leaders Really Do by John P. Kotter
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the
Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge
The Leadership Challenge, Fourth Edition by
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide
to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F.
The Age of Discontinuity: Guidelines to Our
Changing Society by Peter F. Drucker
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow
Them and People Will Follow You by John C.
My Years with General Motors by Alfred P. Sloan Jr.
The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies
Turn Knowledge Into Action by Jeffrey Pfeffer
and Robert I. Sutton