Professor Adebayo, Others Highlight Leadership Traits to Emulate at Training for Academic Leaders
The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, has highlighted the crucial role of leadership in driving to fruition the University's short and long-term visions. While speaking at a two-day 'Special Capacity Enhancement Training for Academic Leaders', Professor Adebayo asserted that leaders were by nature designed to inspire, motivate and lead people to accomplish organizational goals.
Professor Adebayo, in his presentation titled 'Strategic Roles and Competencies of Academic Leadership in a World Class University, called on the University's academic leaders, especially those coming on board for the very first time, to come to terms early with the task at hand and become conscious of the essence of leadership, which was about influencing a group of people for the overall good of all.
He noted that leadership was multi-factorial and distinct from management practice. As a result, there was the need to evolve a leadership structure that would entail being interactive, non-restrictive, emphasizing teamwork and collaboration that would engender collective shared responsibility for the University's overall success.
The Professor of Biochemistry stated that, as chief academic officer in the various departments and colleges, it is expected that each of them will take charge and oversee accreditation of programmes in their respective departments, understanding the curriculum and call for review whenever it is necessary to ensure it is in line with global relevance.
In addition, he tasked them with monitoring of lecture attendance and laboratory/workshop/studio, internal moderation of exam scripts, and the appointment of external examiners for vetting of scripts and moderation of results among other responsibilities towards building institutional, college and departmental reputation in the comity of elite Universities..
Professor Adebayo believed that leadership effectiveness would require embracing challenges, taking a calculated risk, developing courage at the time of controversies, and accepting mistakes. Also, he noted that it was important to communicate frequently, remain approachable, and understand the situation and facts of an issue to enable effective decision making.
On his part, the Registrar, Dr. Oluwasegun Omidiora, who delivered a presentation on the perspective of communication for academic leaders in Covenant, said a good communication process would create the right and enabling environment to perform, which would enhance productivity and institutional reputation.
Dr. Omidiora was of the view that appropriate communication would negate friction and office in-fighting. According to him, it was incumbent on all to embrace good communication. He said the cost of effective and appropriate communication was far better than the inherent consequences for not communicating across the board.
According to him, attracting respect for the institution and oneself, significant reduction of conflicts, increased productivity, rewards and rest of mind were some of the benefits of evolving and adopting appropriate communication schemes.
Dr. Omidiora said it was necessary for all in leadership to recognize the importance of communication, as it was the basis for action and enabled planning to become easy. Furthermore, he said it was a vital tool for coordination and prompt decision-making, while also providing effective leadership, boosting morale and motivation, and enhanced productivity.
In a presentation targeted at helping academic leaders create a good balance between administrative duties and academic responsibilities, the University's 5th Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, who spoke on 'CARE Leadership: Balancing Research and Administrative Responsibilities of Academic Leaders', said the notion of care leadership was all about engaging emotional intelligence effectively in one's role as a leader.
He said it was leadership that sought to achieve organizational vision, mission and goals by being sensitive to the emotional wellbeing of the followers, by being friendly, appreciative, relational, and exemplary.
The Professor of Communication Engineering advised the new academic leaders to deploy the divine skill of delegation, if they do not want to see their contribution to the academic world wane. According to him, delegation should be prioritize according to the level of importance and the attendant urgency of not of the issue in question.
Professor Atayero noted that while it is important to delegate, leaders across board should ensure that the delegation process selects the appropriate person, identify the right task to be assigned, set up objectives and plan of execution, monitor performances and evaluate from time to time, to make the most of the whole exercise.
Professor Atayero posited that the CARE Leadership model's adoption would go a long way in building trust and commitment between leadership and the led because it was a rare leadership model found in today's corporate world. He said it was the greatest leadership kind because it was failure-proof and a veritable approach for balancing academic leaders' research and administrative responsibilities.
The University Chaplain, Pastor Kayode Martins, speaking on 'Spirituality – A Key Prerequisite for Effective Leadership', said Spirit-filled leaders tapped into the inherent leadership traits and followers’ fundamental need for spiritual survival and wellbeing.
Pastor Martins highlighted certain spiritual qualities that enhance effective leadership. These included: evolving visionary perspective to assignment, imbibe internal disciplinary model, be ready to embrace wisdom and knowledge, emotional and intellectual sensitivity, develop courage, faith, and being filled with the Holy Ghost.
However, he noted that there was always a price to pay to become a spirit-filled leader, considering that the more effective the leadership was, the higher the price to be paid. He identified personal sacrifice, rejection, criticism, loneliness, mental and physical fatigue as some of the prices one would pay to access the effective and result-oriented leadership.
The two-day session also witnessed presentations from the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Professor Akan Williams; former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Ogbulogo; Director, Academic Planning Unit, Dr Timothy Anake; and former Registrar, Mrs Mary Aboyade.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, making his presentation at the Special Capacity Enhancement Training for Academic Leaders Programme