Leadership : The Field Of Distance Education

1734 WordsSep 5, 20167 Pages
Leadership in Distance Education To most people, leadership and management are used interchangeably. The roles and skills of leadership and management, however, are distinctively different. Kotter (2012) states that unlike management that is responsible for carrying out changes within systems, leadership on the other hand, “builds systems or transforms old ones…takes you into territory that is new and less well known, or completely unknown to you” (Location 36. para 1). This is notable with leadership in the field of distance education. Over the past two decades, leadership within the field of distance education has transformed distance education from being the “stepchild” of higher education to the forefront, particularly…show more content…
They must also have the ability to initiate change and embrace new ideas, stay abreast with emerging trends, yet remain true to the mission and purpose of distance education, to provide high quality education, make higher education assessable and affordable, and reach the educationally underrepresented population in society. Westley & Mintzberg (1989) stated that what stands out about visionary leaders is that they lead by action and communicate their vision in a way that followers understand the vision, embrace it, and become active followers. What is also noted about visionary leaders if that they exercise sound judgment, have the ability to create, inspire, empower, transform, and “create the right atmosphere, the right conditions for others to do their jobs better” (Carlzon as cited in Westley & Mintzberg, 1989). Distance education needs visionary leaders that possess these qualities; leaders with integrity who will create the right atmosphere for change as well as develop trust between leader and followers. Integrity A leader’s word must be his or her bond. This is one of the most important values in leadership. Leaders cannot expect followers to follow them blindly when their words and actions do not match. People
Open Document