On Leadership and Building an Enduring Great Institution
I have been reading Jim Collins' Good to Great along with Good to Great and the Social Sectors as part of a book study with fellow educators. I also recently read a faculty address by Dr. Gordon E. Gee, president of The Ohio State University, on A Blueprint for the 21st Century University (see the link at the bottom of the page for the full address). So where is the connection? It's two-fold: Leadership and Building an Enduring Great Institution.
In his address, President Gee espouses a blueprint for the 21st century university that includes thinking outside of the box when it comes to funding, achievement, learning environments, research, and developing programs to ensure student academic success. I believe much of this blueprint requires a Good to Great mentality or as Dr. Gee states in his address Excellence to Eminence.
Jim Collins speaks of level five leadership, which embodies a mix of professional will and personal humility. Additionally, he speaks of building greatness to last. These type of leaders are driven to do whatever it takes to create great companies/institutions that are lasting and they are quick to take the blame when things are not working but quickly give credit to others when things are working. As Dr. Gee states, "It is about something larger than any individual in this room or any group of individuals on campus. Frankly, we will all come and go. It is about a University with 140 years of history." Based upon these quotes and others in the address, Dr. Gee is definitely interested in OSU being a great and lasting institution of higher education. Further throughout his address, there are numerous snippets praising specific people for their roles in OSU's continued march toward eminence and pointed nods on continuing to cultivate leaders amongst the faculty, staff and administration.