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Who is an Academic Leader?

By G. Balasubramanian

An African proverb says, “It takes a whole society to raise a leader.” It really means that there is a whole lot of external forces that help to shape and define a leader. A leader needs to have adequate social sensitivity. His/her social consciousness goes a long way in the image building. Unless he/she is conscious and responsive to the needs of the society, unless the society recognizes and elevates him/her to the position one deserves one doesn’t emerge as a leader in its true sense.

In a world of self-proclaimed leaders, one must understand that pseudo-leadership doesn’t stand for a long time. A real leader needs to have relevant and visible competencies. As Rudyard Kipling puts in his poem “If” – he/she should be able ‘to walk like a king amongst the commoners and a commoner amongst the kings.’

John Adair, a noted Guru on Leadership, the world’s first professor of Leadership Studies in UK classifies the leaders as:

John Adair, a noted Guru on leadership, the world’s first professor of Leadership Studies in UK classifies leaders as:

  • Strategic Leaders
  • Operational Leaders
  • Team Leaders

An academic leader needs to encompass the qualities of all the above leadership qualities.

He should learn to integrate all the above types of leaderships. In short, he needs to be “Leader of Leaders” so that he can generate leaders! Do you agree?

Let us look for the qualities of academic leadership in us.

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