In the aftermath of the 2018 Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the words of John Maxwell’s
The 5 Levels of Leadership are still resonating: “The highest goal of leadership is
to develop leaders, not gain followers...”
Institutional leadership is probably
the single most important factor in the
success of a community college, and,
while it is true that some leaders are
born, most are developed through years
of experience and training. As leaders,
we should strive to foster and promote
effective, dynamic leaders for tomorrow’s community college through men-torship and professional development.
Mentoring potential leaders ensures
that competent employees will be ready
to take the helm. Current leaders have
the opportunity to demonstrate confidence in and build the poise of future
leaders by providing chances for them
to achieve their next objective and by
providing direction and guidance.
Encouraging aspiring leaders to envision themselves in their goal position
and providing opportunities for them
to “try on” various jobs can help them
see the possible career paths available
to them. It also allows current leaders
to see what areas are a best fit for those
they are mentoring.
As baby boomers are beginning to
retire, our colleges may lose institutional
knowledge and experience. In order to
combat the loss of such rich experience,
our institutions can increase our efforts
in identifying “next generation” leaders
and providing them the training they
need to be successful in our organizations. In Mississippi, we have a program
called the Mississippi Community College
Leadership Academy, which is designed
to teach mid-level administrators and
faculty members invaluable lessons about
leadership and about how our community college system is structured.
At Mississippi Gulf Coast Community
College, our upper-level administration,
along with the other leadership initiatives
they are tasked with, are asked each year
as a part of their employee evaluations,
“Who are you mentoring?” They are
asked to be accountable for the efforts
they are making in developing their
teams so that when they move to the
next phase of their careers, we can recruit
from within our institution.
In both of the above instances, mentoring and training of the next generation
of leaders is being discussed and implemented. According to a Forbes article
entitled “To Develop the Next Generation of
Leaders, Plan Ahead,” companies can start
their training of future leadership before
it is actually needed through initiatives
like think-tanks and new idea sessions.
Institutions also can train their senior leadership how to effectively coach and mentor.
And when all else fails, read a book!
As Albert Mohler says in his book, The
Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for
Leadership that Matters, “The explosion
of books and articles on leadership is one
signal that leaders are avid readers and
eager consumers of the written word…The
leader is constantly analyzing, considering,
defining, and confirming the convictions
that will rule his leadership.”
It is no doubt that training the leaders
of the future is of the utmost importance
to our colleges, and it is our hope that
AACC can serve as a resource to you as
you both hone in on your own leadership
skills and learn how to effectively pass on
those skills to the leaders of tomorrow.
Mary S. Graham is president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community
College and chair of the AACC Board of Directors.
Mary S. Graham
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
DIREC TOR OF PUBLICATIONS
Mary S. Graham
Douglas J. Guth
Jackson N. Sasser
LSC Communications–Liberty, Mo.
MANUSCRIPTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
Send to Journal Editor, AACC
One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 410,
Washington, DC 20036
202/728-0200, ext. 211
(AACC is not responsible for unsolicited
manuscripts and photographs.)
The YGS Group
Attn: Tima Good
Phone: (717) 430-2282
Fax: (717) 825-2171
E-mail: tima.good@the YGSgroup.com
Call 202/728-0200, ext. 236 or write to
AACC Publications, P.O. Box
75263, Baltimore, MD 21275
COMMUNI TY COLLEGE JOURNAL, ISSN 1067-1803, is
published bimonthly: August/September, October/
November, December/January, February/March, April/
May, June/July. Subscriptions (nonmember) are $36;
group subscriptions ( 10 or more to one address) are
$24 each. Single copy price is $6. Ninety dollars of
AACC membership fees of institutional and associate
members (includes educational and foundation
categories) covers costs for three subscriptions each.
Thirty dollars of membership fees for individual associate
members covers one subscription each. Periodicals
postage paid in Washington, DC, and additional mailing
offices by the association. Postmaster: Send changes of
address to the Community College Journal, One Dupont
Circle NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036.
COMMUNI TY COLLEGE JOURNAL is available in
microform from University Microfilms International.
Printed in U.S. A.
© 2018 American Association of Community Colleges.
National Center for Higher Education
One Dupont Circle NW
Washington, DC 20036
Volume 88, Issue 6.
Digital: 2151-755X TM