Here at ISM, a lot of our theory and best-practice advice comes from our focus on a school’s mission. We consider the school’s mission a statement of why the institution exists, a “filter” through which every decision must be run. Everything from scheduling to facility expansion to financial aid comes from how a school interprets its mission.
But many organizations have a “vision,” in addition to its mission. When a school already has its mission—its core focus and primary compass pointing the community toward the “ideal” learning environment—a vision feels superfluous, at least initially. Done correctly, however, a school’s vision articulates how a school will fulfill its root mission, making it an interesting (albeit optional) part of the school’s strategic plan and marketing strategy.
Leaders often possess a raw, natural charisma and energy, being the centers around whom others naturally congregate. But, there are distinct qualities which conscientious leaders—particularly academic leaders—actively cultivate to better both themselves and those around them. These people are the ones for which you should watch as you enter this year’s hiring and promotion season.