By David Collins
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Extra info for A survival guide for college managers and leaders
You might be better waiting until you have some idea of what the responses might be. You may be lucky, of course, and be taking over from someone who has been blatantly incompetent or distant — in which case even simple positive actions may propel you towards sainthood — but this is not likely to be the case. Whatever the history, and however senior or junior your management role, it is worth taking time to find out how things used to work and initially, at least, to ensure that you only depart from these tried and tested paths for well thought through reasons.
Up until now, we've largely considered organized time, but to be a successful leader you need to allow for some 'unorganized' time that can be made available to others. ' and demonstrate your opendoor policy. Scheduling these opportunities towards the end of each working day can be particularly useful. By so doing you will not only find that everyone will want to deal with the matter effectively, but they will also want to do so as quickly as possible. Last but not least, don't spend all your time in your office.
Remember too that 'Thank yous' from those at the top of an organization are worth three 'Thank yous' from elsewhere. Don't ask me why, but they are. Even casual criticisms, if delivered by the leader, can really hurt. So it's very important that while working on your relationships from Day 1 you are careful with the messages you are sending out. Ideally, they should be reflecting the college's mission, values and aims. More importantly, you should be seen to be living these while you're on the job.
A survival guide for college managers and leaders by David Collins