S is for Susan

You need a vision (…) you sincerely believe in and its intrinsic value.”

You need to be a motivator; you need to love people, by fascinated by their abilities, believe they can accomplish anything. If you sincerely believe in your team or teams, they will sense this and in turn believe in you and your vision.”

                                                                                                                                                       Susan Bainbridge

Thank you Susan for your time and contribution!

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13 comments on “S is for Susan

  1. David says:

    Very interesting indeed!
    I must say some managers could take a few lessons from Susan. I agree with her idea of what a team is by playing to and encouraging individual strengths rather than a kind of dictatorial team conformity where everyone has to be good at doing the same thing in the same way.

  2. kaushigw says:

    I particularly like two points raised in this discussion (Susan is right-on these two)
    1. The role of an effective leader – not a dictator but a facilitator.
    2. Teamwork is mostly about Talent-Management

  3. Hi David! Thank you for visiting and leaving your thoughts. I still wonder how in a field like education there are so few outstanding managers, when there are so many outstanding educators. Will this ever change?

  4. Hi Kaushigw! Thank you for passing by and leaving your opinion. I absolutely agree with you – too many people in leadership positions still believe that they know it all and need to dictate when in fact, they often know less than the teams they are supposed to lead and manage. Thank you too for highlighting Susan’s main points, especially regarding talent/skill management.

  5. Tim Miller says:

    Bravo! Susan has such a keen and accurate understanding of leadership in today’s world. The dictatorial style, which unfortunately I still witness in the workplace, is a long dead concept that does not work with present-day dynamic individuals. And that’s the key as she points out: individuals. She also touched on recognition, something that is so simple and free but goes such a long way. But it is easily forgotten or overlooked. Susan could be a motivational speaker. I would gladly have her visit our company and speak! Thank you for your penetrating insights.

  6. I’m so pleased that you each found something of value in the interview. It DOES seems like simple, common sense, doesn’t it? Boils right down to the leader’s fundamental belief in people and their talents.
    With regard to educational leadership Cristina, I wonder if the difficulty in implementing dynamic change, stems from the fact that for generations, institutions have allowed teachers huge autonomy especially in HEI. Departments rule themselves and compete with each other…not very conducive to team building or productivity.

  7. It certainly should be “a common sense”, unfortunately it isnt.

  8. How true Kaushiya!
    Step one: when a person is put into a position of leadership….do they immediately become a facilitator…..or someone who perceives leadership as an equivalent of ‘power’…if so…remove them immediately!

  9. I am completely on-board with Susan on this:
    Anyone who has worked for a questionable boss could relate to your points.

    I also believe, a true leader is someone who could see those gaps in people (including hers). And who’s wise enough to guide the resources to fill those gaps and use those weaknesses to everybody’s advantage – that is the ONLY job of a leader.

    Because, anyone can have authority but a few have that power.

  10. Your words reminded me of a wonderful quote Kaushilya.
    Stephen Covey once said, “Managers work IN the system, but leadership works ON the system.”
    Hence the difference between authority and power.

  11. Hi Susan,

    My comment refers to the issues you raised in HEI. I tend to support the fact that educators in HEI do need a certain degree of autonomy which is necessary to develop curriculum and research; however, I also think that departments should be more pro-active in finding common ground for this as well as being more in harmony regarding their institutions’ goals. This would hugely benefit students, teachers themselves and their community.

    Another aspect I have always wondered about is why there needs to be rifts between departments – all fields of knowledge and know-how have equal value. This attitude only serves the purpose of weakening possible team efforts and in the long run, undermines educational institutions.

    Any suggestions?

  12. Thank you Kaushilya and Susan for raising issues of authority, leadership and power – all issues which we have to deal with regularly.

    I would like to back the motion that leadership is NOT an exercise of power; power lies in the ability of facilitating teams and individuals to shine and succeed. Power lies in the ability of giving individuals the opportunity to actually strive to do their best for their team, for an organisation’s objects and to be able to contribute positively towards the leader’s vision.

    This applies to both educational and non-educational environments. And it is the individual who is actually capable of inspiring teams, of leading teams and people that can be regarded as a transformational leader.

    Having worked and carried out research in both commercial and educational environments, my question, however, remains – why are there so few inspirational leaders in positions of power within the field of education?

    It seems to me that leaders in education are often on the fringes rather than at the centre of educational change.

  13. I agree with Ana on the power concept. It could be easily misinterpreted as exercising power.

    With respect to Education……
    Right off of my head, I think, the problem with academia is bureaucracy and keepingthe researchers out of the loop.
    Most profs are pressed to publish (research and write papers only academics understand) – which leaves them very little time to actually practice what they preach. And there is so much red-tape in academia – it almost makes you feel “the trouble is not worth it”.

    In my personal experience, I have seen exceptionally inspirational profs that do not get the opportunities to rub it off on the world – a crime, as I see it.

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