Higher education, known as continued education in the US and further education (FE) in the UK, is greatly in need of leaders. College, like any businesses, needs driven individuals to help it succeed. Yet, many don’t really appreciate the importance of leadership in the workplace, in roles in further education, or how important finding these staff members is for the all businesses in every industry.
Here, we look at how the FE sector in the UK is finding the best leaders, what the benefits are for them and how leadership can change a business.
Leadership needs industry experts to fill valuable roles
While leaders form an integral, internal role. That doesn’t mean they should always be found and fostered from within your current staff. Leadership roles are abundant in many colleges in both the UK and US and so roles are ripe for the taking. But if they are so abundant, why aren’t they being filled? Well, in many instances, it’s because potential hires don’t realize how suitable they can be for these roles. Many follow a linear career path, coming in as juniors, working up to management and then either moving into ownership or the same role in another business.
Outside experience leads to new perspectives and ideas
Leaders in colleges form part of the integral growth of the college. Modern models for college success are increasingly based on distributed leadership. Hence, leadership roles are prevalent at every level and every department.
Distributed leadership requires informed, motivated and dedicated individuals to drive progress, new systems and offer innovative ideas in each of their specialist areas. Together they can transform schools into even great places of learning for college students.
This is the same for any business. Leaders create new opportunities by thinking outside the box. With internal training, especially of those staff who have stayed within the same company for many years, they will have been ingrained to think a certain way, making it more difficult to innovate.
Colleges look for leaders who have real world experience, for example in mechanics, to advance their engineering departments by laying their real world knowledge over the college structure. These leaders add a new perspective.
So, what would attract someone to a leadership in FE or your business?
Leaders get new challenges and promote business growth
The career pivot, from one industry to another, helps you find the best leaders for leadership roles. This is because those seeking new challenges are best suited for these roles. Leaders are required to innovate and affect change within departments. It’s not just a job, it’s a driving position with a college or company.
The best leaders are the kind of people who want to seek a new challenge and are eager to find solutions, ways to improve already existing frameworks.
This is why FE colleges look for those with plenty of years experience, especially those who are ready for a career pivot.
Along with new challenges, leaders from other industries can affect real change across departments, seeing improvements and growth at their colleges. All this contributes to a positive work environment, which leads to further improvements.
Additionally for many, especially those heading for retirement, not having new ways to use their skills can be a disappointing prospect. Moving into a leadership role, which can be managerial in administration or more directive in certain course subjects, offers a less pressurized environment, but where the new leaders are considered invaluable.
Finding a leader for your businesses is not simply about finding someone to fill a role. The potential of the candidate has to be clear, with their knowledge offering your business or department skills that you don’t have within. Be prepared to let them make significant changes. Leaders, by definition, shouldn’t be happy with your current framework, they should want to make improvements and tweaks, changes that may seem rash, but will benefit your business in the long run.