Leadership in Action Workshop

Overview  //  What we will be discussing

What we will be doing

Introduction: Adaptive Leadership in Learning Organizations (9-10:15)

We will start off by surveying the collaborative philosophies of adaptive leadership that are cited on our page on what we will be discussing.  We will then transition to table discussions that connect those philosophies with our studies of rhetoric and composition and our work leading writing programs.  In the concluding third of this session, we will consider the vital interactions between self-reflections and “systems thinking.”  The former will be central to our first workshop session, and our second and third workshops will focus on practical strategies for advancing projects and managing change to leverage our impact by connecting with broader environmental changes in higher education.

Workshop 1: Leading with Your Strengths (10:30-11:30)

In this workshop on your responses to StrengthFinders, we will review your self-assessments against our discussions of the leadership capacities of our studies of rhetoric and composition and the lessons we have learned from our administrative work.  The characteristics formalized in StrengthsFinders provide heuristics for our self-reflections.  We will consider the validity and usefulness of the StrengthsFinders categories, but most of this workshop will be focused on strategies for using such feedback in our ongoing leadership development.  The strategies we will work with will help us seek out assessments of how we are perceived to develop multi-perspectival understandings of our work.

Workshop 2: Building Teams to Advance Projects (11:45-12:30, continuing discussions over lunch)

Over lunch and then in our second workshop, we will work in small groups on the projects that you bring to the table discussions.  We use project management strategies to develop implementation plans.  As part of our work on project management, we will also consider strategies for assessing and strengthening relationships.

Workshop 3: Building Coalitions to Advance Change (1:30-3:00)

This workshop will continue the work from the previous session on the projects that you have brought to work on.  We will work on practical strategies for environmental scanning that can help you develop the sort of “systems thinking” that we highlighted in our introduction as vital to developing the impact of our projects.  As a frame for inventorying the institutional needs and priorities that will affect our projects, we will consider the university as a complex system that is adapting to historic changes in the environment and related interdisciplinary trends.  This framework will connect with our initial discussion of adaptive theories of leadership, and our environmental scans will draw upon your work with “mental models” in our StrengthsFinders session.

Concluding Session: Onward, Outward and Upward (3:15-4:30)

In our last session, we will return to the initial discussions of leadership as a reflective practice to consider your career plans and practical strategies for developing them.  As we will discuss in our StrengthsFinder session, “personal mastery” is a craft quite comparable to our work with writing and research.  This career development workshop will also consider how you can frame and promote your leadership as “engaged scholarship.”  Work on the scholarship of engagement provides a framework for thinking about the continuities among your leadership, adaptive changes in higher education, and your individual development as a scholar, teacher and administrator.