Most organizational theorists use the athletic team as a metaphor for the effective work group - specific players motivated to give their best performance in pursuit of a common goal. Redesigning Collegiate Leadership offers a different model, focusing instead on the complex ways that members of a leadership team interact, wield power, use language, and create meaning. Estela Mara Bensimon and Anna Neumann describe the team as a culture and argue that effective team leadership depends on expecting, understanding, and appreciating the differences among individuals. Using interviews with members of administrative teams on fifteen campuses - including research universities, public colleges, private colleges, and community colleges - the authors examine teamwork as an essentially human activity. They consider how and why people on leadership teams think and act as they do, how they learn and communicate (or neglect to do so), and how they bring their deepest values, beliefs, and aspirations into playin the conduct of administrative work. Bensimon and Neumann offer a clear picture of how administrative leaders shape and maintain effective teams, and how the teams address diversity and conflict. Emphasizing the importance of inclusiveness, the authors also identify a number of hidden dynamics related to gender, race, and power inequity. Quotes from team participants make the book lively and accessible. Redesigning collegiate Leadership provides the basis - and the language - for understanding and discussing administrative leadership as a collective and collaborative process.
Any president, team leader, or team builder can glean a sizable amount of wisdom from Redesigning Collegiate Leadership... The authors provide experiential knowledge on how to build and evaluate a 'real,' complex team. -- Toni Murdock * Alliance * Reading this work becomes a personal as well as intellectual journey of reflecting on who we are and what we might wish to become as collaborative leaders and team builders. An important journey for any administrator in American higher education today. * NASPA Journal *