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How to be a servant dean

The position of leader is a trust. It is always echoed when lecturers are given additional tasks either at the level of study programs, departments, faculties to universities. It means that the leader is responsible for his leadership in this world and the hereafter. Unfortunately, only a small percentage are fully aware of the trust. The phenomenon of forgetting the land often violates the behavior of the leadership shortly after the inauguration ceremony ends. The desire to always be served by subordinates is stronger than the desire to serve.

How the Dean serves, not is served
 Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Leadership characterized by highly demand to be served is not the right model in the campus world.  A   strong academic culture in campus atmosphere creates a pattern of collegial relationships.   This pattern indicates the thinness relationship between the superior and the subordinate. Therefore, the right leadership model according to the author is transformational. This style of serving should be applied by a dean in higher education institutions.

So what are the characteristics of transformational leadership and how to realize them? Reflecting on the expectations of study programs and majors towards the leadership of the dean, here is the explanation:

First, drive motivation. The task of motivating it has become a common task as a leader. This task is part   of the management function that is actuating / leading. Motivating subordinates is intended to encourage the best performing spirit for study programs, departments and faculty. Motivation can take the form of instrinsic and extrinsic. Never stingy    praise the performance of lecturers and employees who excel, for example is a form of intrinsic motivation.  Praise will encourage the morale of    subordinates. At the same time, reward is important for   generating extrinsic motivation.

Second, being inspired. The leader    not only tells you to complete the task, but also has to inspire    how to find a way out. Remember, not all subordinates are able to do the task    well.   But when it comes to the task of inspiring, it's not an easy matter.  Because    the special characteristic of transformational leadership is how to be able to   achieve the results of work through previous expectations by prioritizing organizational interests above personal interests.

Third, as a role model. The Dean in the activities of leading must give transparency. The behavior of the dean becomes a reference subordinate in acting and carrying out work duties.  If the dean wants lecturers   to improve the culture of writing literacy, then it is appropriate for the dean to set an example with his ability to publish academic works periodically.   That is, as busy as anything in carrying out managerial tasks, a dean must remain productive in honing his intellectual   skills.

Fourth, have the capacity to manage organizational change. The dean as the driving force of    change was hinted that change initiatives should emerge from faculty leaders.  This is none other than because lecturers are already too busy with routine academic affairs.  But keep in mind, change is not just an    initiative. The Dean must be able to realize the initiative into concrete action to bring the faculty in   better   direction.  Remember, change management always starts from   careful   planning, resource allocation, moving, controlling to monitoring changes. Make changes in a systematic and structured manner.

Fifth, carry out empowerment. Lecturers and education personnel are not robots. Emotional connection    becomes a   necessity. The Dean should be their partner in realizing the mission vision    of the faculty. The dean's job    is how to empower    so that the optimal ability of subordinates can be maximized. Therefore, the bureaucratic barrier must be eliminated. In empowerment, forward emotional relationships are not hierarchical relationships.  

Sixth, encourage innovation and creativity. A healthy faculty is filled with innovative and creative human resources. Moreover, no organization is able to deal with changes in the external environment that   is volatile, uncertainty, complex, and ambiguity (VUCA).  Faculty that choose the status quo against change will be run over by   change itself.   The work program must be designed by providing    space for the emergence of creativity and innovation of lecturers and employees. The point is how the creative and innovation space can grow    without violating the laws and regulations that shackle.

Eighth, carry out coaching and mentoring. It is this task that distinguishes transformational leadership from transactional. In transactional leadership the coaching and mentoring functions will not work. Why? Because the leadership style is only based on reward and punishment alone. Instead, transformational requires the dean must be able to position himself as a coach as well as a mentor for lecturers and education personnel.  Don't just be able to do a job that is considered difficult by subordinates without providing guidance on how to complete the work as difficult as anything.

Finally, the eight tips above if used as a reference in leading the faculty, then the dean is already in the position of serving leader.  It's not the faculty leaders who always ask to be served. Please remind an consider a long-term emotional relationships.   As a lecturer, after completing the mandate as dean, after all, he/ she will return to his/ her study program or department. Of course, after not taking office, we do not want to be hostile by colleagues due to the ugliness of our leadership style in the past.

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