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CAUBO 2004: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. June 12, 2004 Chet Warzynski Cornell University. QUESTIONS:. What environmental and organizational challenges are leaders in higher education facing today?

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CAUBO 2004: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


June 12, 2004

Chet Warzynski

Cornell University

  • What environmental and organizational challenges are leaders in higher education facing today?
  • Outline the leadership competencies and capabilities (in HR and generally) are needed to meet these challenges, and how they can be developed?
  • What are some highly effective leadership development practices?
  • What is HR’s role in academic leadership development?

Cornell University

  • Founded in 1865
  • Fourteen colleges and schools
  • 13,725 undergraduates
  • 6,500 graduate students
  • 3,091 faculty
  • 8,744 support staff
  • 217,886 alumni
  • $1.7 billion annual budget
  • $465 million in research
  • Public and private divisions
  • 200 departments
  • 57 cooperative extension associations
  • 4,000 undergraduate courses
  • 100 academic and professional fields
  • 27 Nobel Laureates
  • 400+ Active patents

Cornell University

  • Decentralized & highly differentiated structure
  • Semi-autonomous agents
  • Fragmented IT systems
  • Blended job responsibilities
  • Distinct academic & administrative subcultures
  • Strong allegiance to local unit
  • Significant diversity of views
  • Conflict-averse culture
  • Long-term, local employees
  • Job entitlement
  • Individual over team achievement

Organizational Alignment

Cornell University’s Priorities:

Inspire Community Introduce New Technologies

Improve Partnerships Encourage Innovation

Increase Productivity Maintain HR Quality & Support




Customer Service

Change Management

People Issues

Attract/Develop/Retain Alignment & Teamwork Learning & Innovation


Organizational Development Strategies

Leadership Development Reorganization & Alignment Performance Mgt Strategic Planning Team Building Project Mgt

Work Process Change Training & Development Conflict Resolution

the burke litwin model




Organization Culture

Mission and Strategy



Systems (policies & procedures)


Work Unit



Task Requirements & Individual Skills/Abilities

Individual Needs & Values

Individual & Organizational Performance

The Burke-Litwin Model

The Struggle to Explain Leadership

Definitions of leadership are influenced by the times in which we live:

Trait Theory

Behavior Theory

Contingency Theory

1920s 1940s Today

  • Ohio State & Michigan Studies
  • Task oriented
  • Relationship oriented
  • Great Man Theory
  • Common traits & characteristics
  • Situational Leadership
  • Transactional / Transformational
  • Servant Leadership
  • Values-based Leadership



The Cornell Leadership Model:

Be - Know - Do

What does Cornell want its leaders to BE – KNOW – DO?

Create the Cornell Leadership Model:

-Identify the valuesand attributesof a Cornell leader.

-Identify the skills and of a Cornell leader.

-Identify the actionsof a Cornell leader.

-Identify examples of Cornell leadership at its best.

future hr competencies
Future HR Competencies*









*D. Ulrich -HR Champions

history of leadership development
History of Leadership Development

Leadership for Quality

Leadership Skill Training

Leadership Assessment

Leadership for Change

Discovering Leadership

1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2003

culture of discovering leadership
Culture of Discovering Leadership






C & C



  • Satisfaction for those whom We serve
  • Scholarship
  • Learning
  • Outreach
  • Collaboration
  • Collegiality
  • Partnerships
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Stewardship
  • Productivity
research on leadership development
Research on Leadership Development*
  • Lessons learned from experience have a lasting impact on how a person manages and leads.
  • Developmental experiences fall into four areas:
    • Challenging Assignments - 42%
    • Significant other people - 22%
    • Hardships - 20%
    • Other events - 16%
  • Challenge within experience drives learning forward and makes it developmental.

*Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks, Greensboro, North Carolina

leadership development
Five Steps to Leadership Development:

Have a model of leadership

Get some feedback relative to that model

Evaluate the feedback you receive

Make a plan

Work the plan

Leadership Development
learning to learn from experience action observation reflection model
Learning to Learn from ExperienceAction-Observation-Reflection Model


What did you do?


How do you feel/think

about it now?


What happened?


Premises of Discovering Leadership

Hegel: “We may affirm that absolutely nothing great in this world has been achieved without passion.”

Ghandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Jung: “We discover ourselves through others.”

T.S. Elliott: “We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

features of discovering leadership
Features of Discovering Leadership
  • 300 Graduates: 61 faculty, 3 associate deans, 5 assistant deans, 25 chairs, 28 academic staff, 188 administrative managers
  • Discovery process based on experiential learning: “triple loop” action learning
  • Emphasis on safety, trust & values (social capital)
  • Self-assessment and understanding impact
  • Use of “live” data rather than case studies
  • Project-based assignments & applications

The Goals of Discovering Leadership

Increase participant self-awareness

Create new leadership experiences


Improve communication and relationship-building skills

Execute a customized learning and action plan

Develop skills for leading & supporting change

obstacles to discovering leadership
Obstacles to Discovering Leadership

A. Program Obstacles:

  • Competing definitions and models
  • Integration of three programs
  • Mixing faculty and staff
  • Duration of program
  • Team teaching

B. Organizational Obstacles:

  • Developing sponsorship
  • Engaging faculty support
  • Acquiring funding
  • Marketing

Goldman’s Emotional Intelligence*


1. Self-awareness - ability to understand emotions

2. Self-regulation - ability to think & redirect impulses

3. Motivation - a passion to pursue goals with energy

4. Empathy - ability to deal with others’ emotions

5. Social Skill - proficiency in building relationships


  • Self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, humor
  • Trustworthiness, integrity, openness to change
  • Achievement, optimism, commitment
  • Building talent, cross cultural sensitivity, service
  • Effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness, teambuilding

*Adapted from Daniel Goleman, “What Makes a Leader?” Boston: Harvard Business Review, November-December, 1998, p. 95.

attributes of leadership
Attributes of Leadership*

1. Personal Credibility (Ethos)

  • Intelligence and competence
  • Clear values, goodwill, sincerity, integrity, and trustworthiness
  • Strong work ethic

2. Logical Strategies (Logos)

  • Rational dialogue
  • Mental models/tools (capabilities)
  • Evidence and proof

3. Emotional Strategies (Pathos)

  • Emotional commitment to values and beliefs
  • Appeal to personal interest
  • Achievement orientation

*Adapted from E. Bettinghaus and M. Cody. Persuasive Communications. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1987.


Leadership Capabilities

  • Strategic Planning
  • Developing Culture
  • Team Building
  • Leading Change
  • Managing Performance
  • Negotiating Solutions
model i the defensive organization
Model I: The Defensive Organization

Chris Argyris, Overcoming Organizational Defenses

Most organizations foster attitudes that are:

  • Controlling - they act and manage the environment unilaterally
  • Competitive – maximize winning and losing
  • Protective – of themselves and others
  • Withholding - of feelings and information
  • Attributive and blaming - of others
  • Adverse to conflict - at all costs
model ii the learning organization
Model II: The Learning Organization

Learning organizations foster attitudes where people are:

  • Data Seeking – exploring new and risky ideas
  • Collaborative – people are supportive and helpful
  • Empowering – autonomy and power sharing are valued
  • Open – actions and assumptions are confronted and tested
  • Commitment – people are engaged and take responsibility for actions
  • Feedback – individual and organizational feedback is valued
model ii the learning organization25
Model II: The Learning Organization

AKA: The Resilient, Adaptive, Agile, Fast Organization

John Kotter, Corporate Culture and Performance: Most successful cultures over time are adaptive. Outperform others by as much as 300%. The most visible factor is competent leadership.

Change in Motivation: from controlling to learning

Consequences: Learning and change are encouraged.

moving from model i to model ii
Moving from Model I to Model II

Peter Senge:The Fifth Discipline

Five Core Competencies:


Team Learning

Model IPersonal Mastery Model II


Systems Thinking

discovering leadership change process
1. Identify challenges

2. Formulate key questions

3. Ask questions

4. Compare answers

5. Conduct best practice research

6. Evaluate answers/ research findings

7. Develop vision & goals

8. Build team & sponsorship

9. Develop project plan

10. Implement plan: empower, coach, develop

11. Measure performance & communicate results

12. Reward, correct, & improve performance

Discovering Leadership Change Process
discovering leadership program
Discovering Leadership Program

1.Discovering the leader within (5 days)

  • Self-awareness, leadership skills, and personal mastery
  • Dialogue
  • Coaching
  • Conflict resolution & Interest-based negotiations

2. Developing teams (3 days)

  • Facilitating organizational systems
  • Consulting process & skills
  • Building high performance teams

3. Applying leadership to organizations (3 days)

  • Leading change
  • Strategic planning
  • Managing performance/measurement

Leadership Challenges and Strategies

Leadership Challenges



Motivating Commitment

Self and organizational awareness, personal mission, values and vision

MBTI, CPI, Emotional Intelligence, 360 feedback, SYMLOG Group Assessment, Group Management Observation, personal learning and action plans, project assignments, executive coaching

Communicating across roles and cultures

Giving and receiving feedback, dialogue (inquiry/advocacy), building relationships & trust, managing diversity, managing conflict

Scenario development, case studies, open space technology, left-hand column exercise, decision therapy, role practice

Establishing shared values and goals

Strategic planning & visioning, culture development, team design

Future search conference, strategic planning,Values-clarification and alignment

Coordinating across disciplines and functions

Planning & facilitating meetings, developing group dynamics, building sponsorship & teams, group problem solving & decision making

Organizational simulation, action research/learning, group problem solving and decision making tools

Creating change for continuous improvement

Dealing with resistance to change and building support systems, project management

Action research/learning, organization development, organizational roles, and project assignments

Developing accountability

Performance measurement & management, organization design, coaching, and conflict resolution

Balanced scorecard, coaching-by-type, interest-based negotiation

participant reaction following program n 169
Participant Reaction Following Program* N=169

(Rating 5=high; 1=low)

Group Info. Skills Effect Overall

Pilot 4.6 4.5 4.2 4.5

Control 4.0 4.3 4.8 4.4

Group Ave. 4.2 4.4 4.5 4.6


  • Three intact work units – AF&F, CIT, NYSAES
  • Special program for other universities
  • Waiting list = 79 ( 21 faculty)

*Reported in Warzynski, C. and Chabot, B. “Leadership Development at Cornell University,” in Ruben, B. Pursuing Excellence in Higher Education: Eight Fundamental Challenges. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003, pp. 315-323.

analysis of program after one year
Analysis of Program After One Year

Quick Facts:

  • Survey developed by graduate students in Personal and Organizational Development course
  • Survey Response Rate: 51% (94/185 administered surveys)
  • Survey Response Time: Oct. 17, 2003 - Oct. 27, 2003
  • 41 questions, combination of multiple choice and open-ended
  • Questions grouped into four categories:
    • Assessment of Program Effectiveness/On-the-Job Impact
    • Identification of Future Leadership Development Needs
    • Perception of Work Unit Performance
    • Participant Demographic Information
strengths of discovering leadership
Strengths of Discovering Leadership

Specific strengths as cited by program participants:

  • Self-Discovery and Self-Assessment
  • Building Teams and Organizations
  • Communication and Feedback
  • Leading Personal & Organizational Change
  • Managing Conflict
  • Cross-Departmental Networking
  • Strong Facilitators

60% of survey respondents rated the program as excellent.

weaknesses of discovering leadership
Weaknesses of Discovering Leadership

Specific weaknesses as cited by program participants:

  • Program should incorporate additional follow-up activities
  • Incorporate more real-life scenarios to facilitate knowledge transfer
  • Administrative leadership support is needed to create supportive environment for skill transfer
  • More emphasis on leading change, conflict management, and problem solving
  • Too much information inhibited knowledge absorption

Stronger support needed from senior leadership.

obstacles to transfer
Obstacles to Transfer
  • Over 30% of participants found that transferring their new knowledge and skills was difficult because other people in their department had not gone through the same training and were not open to new methodologies and processes.
  • Almost 50% of respondents reported that they did not have managerial support for transferring their newly gained leadership skills and abilities.
future leadership programming
Future Leadership Programming
  • Strategic Thinking (in the context of the whole university)
  • Budget/Project Management
  • Organizational Development/Change Management
  • More on Conflict Management and Communication
  • Refresher Courses and Reunions
summary of program results
Summary of Program Results

1. Participants increased their understanding of different personality types for teamwork, leadership, etc. (23.4%)

2. Participants improved abilities to give and receive feedback, manage conflict, solve problems, and lead change. (20.2%)

3. 85% of alumni would recommend this leadership experience to a colleague.

4. 65% of the participants enjoyed the program.

5. The biggest obstacle to implementing newly acquired skills is the operating environment to which participants return.

benefits of discovering leadership
Benefits of Discovering Leadership
  • Understanding and alignment of personal values, mission, vision, and impact.
  • Clear values, safety, trust, strong relationships, teamwork, community (culture & social capital).
  • Enthusiasm, optimism, and renewed commitment.
  • Increased initiative, innovation, agility & stability
  • Personal and organizational productivity.
  • Humanization of the work place.
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Align leadership development with university’s and HR’s priorities, goals, strategies, and performance systems.
  • Conduct a needs assessment and relate participant needs and issues to exercises and relevant tasks.
  • Build safety and trust through informal, interactive exercises, e.g., ropes, coaching groups, energizers.
  • Provide self-assessment opportunities and exercises.
  • Structure learning activities around real issues; develop new experiences & competencies through simulations and role plays.
  • Link competencies to capabilities, e.g., strategic plans, project teams, OD interventions, performance & change management.
  • Provide access to coaching and organizational expertise.
  • Engage individuals in action learning projects and on-the-job applications.
selected references on leadership development
Selected References on Leadership Development
  • Argyris, Chris (1990), Overcoming Organizational Defenses, Boston: Allyn & Bacon
  • Argyris, Chris (1993), On Organizational Learning, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell
  • Burke, Warner, W. (2002). Organization change: theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
  • Covey, S. R. Principle-Centered Leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.
  • Cunningham, L. L. (1990). Educational Leadership and administration: Retrospective and prospective views. In L. L. Cunningham & B. Mitchell, Educational Leadership and changing contexts in families, communities, and schools (pp.1-18). Chicago: The National Society for the Study of Education.
  • Leithwood, K. Jantzi, D. and Steinbach, R. (1999). Changing Leadership for Changing Times. Philadelphia: Open University Press.
  • Senge, Peter M. (1990), The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization, New York: Currency/Doubleday
  • Senge, Peter M. et al (1994), The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Doubleday/Currency, New York
  • Scholtes, P. R. (1998). The Leader’s Handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill
  • Wellins, R.S., Byham, W. and Dixon, G. R. (1994). Inside Teams: How 20 World-Class Organizations are Winning Through Teamwork. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Sobel, C. Studied trust: building new forms of cooperation in a volatile economy. In Richard Swedberg, ed., Explorations in Economic Sociology, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1993.
discovering leadership questions
Discovering Leadership Questions
  • What environmental and organizational challenges are leaders in higher education facing today?
  • What are the expectations of leaders in today’s university?
  • What are some “best practices” for leadership development in the academy?
  • From a marketing perspective how can academic leadership development best be positioned in the university?
  • What should be HR’s role in academic leadership development?