August 23, 2022
June 26, 2022
June 29, 2022
In research communities focussed on leadership, focus is often on the qualities and skills that an individual must develop in order to lead successfully. Goleman, for example, identifies emotional intelligence--self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills--as the core leadership quality. Similarly, Bennis and Thomas highlight the importance of “crucible” experiences, negative events that allow the leader to learn and grow four leadership skills. Leadership succession, in contrast, is often relegated to status as a managerial activity intended to ensure the continuity of the project team. In contrast, we believe that leadership succession is an important leadership skill that team members should prepare themselves for. Our poster will focus on what we are learning about leadership succession in the context of National Science Foundation Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) projects, academic change projects that involve diverse teams and multiple years.
As defined by the RED solicitation, each RED project must be led by a department chair and/or dean. Through focus group interviews with RED project team members, we have identified leadership succession challenges that are common across all teams. Nearly all RED teams experienced leadership changes during the life of their projects: a dean serving as a RED PI who decides to leave for a different institution, a department chair who moves to a new campus. While the RED project team members acknowledge in hindsight that leadership succession is something that they must deal with, they seldom anticipate or prepare for it in advance. Our work as members of the RED Participatory Action Research (REDPAR) team is to help RED project teams develop their skills and prepare for succession. Emerging from our research is the REDPAR Tip Sheet on the topic of Leadership Succession, the sixth in a series of research-based, practice-focused guides that present our findings in an accessible way. In our poster, we will review our findings regarding leadership succession as it impacts RED teams and discuss the importance of preparing all team members, not just team leaders, for developing and implementing leadership succession plans.
Williams, J., & Andrijcic, E., & Margherio, C., & Litzler, E., & Mohan, S., & Güler, S. (2022, August), Leadership Succession in the National Science Foundation Revolutionizing Engineering Departments Projects Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41954
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