Category Archives: Chancellor

Have You Heard The Call?

This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #278

HAVE YOU HEARD THE CALL?

When it comes to careers, the most important bit of old-world wisdom is that people are called to vocations like religion (and the role of pastor), engineering, science, law, education, the military, medicine — and leadership.

You need to know if you are called to leadership.  If you are, acting on the call will benefit you, your family, and most of all, the people you lead.  But if you are not, you will be wasting your time, deluding yourself, frustrating people, and neglecting some other call that is your true path.  So how can you know if you’re called to leadership?  Consider the following suggestions and observations based on my professional journey.

First, if all the benefits of leading were taken away from the job, would you still find yourself leading?  Or would you still want to be in leadership?  People who answer a call often say that they “can do no other.”  That phrase is attributed to Martin Luther as a reason for opposing the religious authorities of his day, despite the high probability of a very bad outcome for him and his family.  Whether he actually uttered these words or not, they capture the experience of one who is answering a call:  “Here I stand; I can do no other.”

Second, run through a worst-case scenario:  Your efforts fail, no one follows, and you find yourself at a career rock bottom.  What would you do?  Most leaders would find another way to move forward.  Some from the outside applaud their resilience, but that is not the internal experience.  Leaders lead because they can do no other.

Third, see if your life matches a common profile.  In leadership, people are drawn to the study of the field and examples of leaders.  They love biographies of leaders in all parts of life, from heads of state to religious leaders to industrialists.  Their minds wrestle with the patterns, and the lack of patterns, as they work out their own leadership approach.  Noted writer and educator Warren Bennis refers to leaders as “conceptualists” — they are drawn to the principles that make leadership function as they also wrestle with how to apply them.

Look at the examples of those who display early abilities.  Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are two examples.  These leadership prodigies were not necessarily out in front in the beginning, but they were refining their abilities, waiting for the right moment to step forward.  Even in the quiet periods, they were gaining respect, an awareness of themselves, and their powers of influence.

Those called to leadership come to realize that they have a curiosity they cannot explain about the field of leadership, the people in it, and its true nature.  This curiosity (and natural abilities) has always been with them.

Leaders find themselves unable to do anything else.  People with this calling can often spot others who have it.  The greatest sin of people called to leadership is to confuse the reason for doing it with the perks that come with the job.

In my case, I believe I am also called as a teacher.  If there are those in our organization who find themselves being called to leadership, there is a lot you should be doing — even need to be doing.  Read, reflect, and experiment.  Notice your patterns.  What do you find yourself doing?  What aspects of leadership most appeal to you?

It is important to embrace the truism that leadership cannot be reduced to a formula or a set of steps.  Also, it is a field with many charlatans, pretenders, and self-deluded individuals, most of them going for the goodies — rather than those who “can do no other.”

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Extraordinary Bosses

This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #282

EIGHT CORE BELIEFS OF EXTRAORDINARY BOSSES

I read Inc. Magazine regularly and find the columns by Geoffrey James interesting.  He writes the “Sales Source” column and has a new book, How to Say It:  Business to Business Selling:  Power Words and Strategies from the World’s Top Sales Experts.

The column with the title cited here resulted from his interviews with some of the most successful CEOs in the world to discover their management secrets.  He learned that the “best of the best” tend to share eight core beliefs:

1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.  Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive.  They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships. Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups.

2. A company is a community, not a machine.  Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose.  They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and, therefore, to the community — and company — at large.  Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs.

3. Management is service, not control.  Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done.  They push decision making downward, allowing teams to form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies. Average bosses want employees to do exactly what they are told.

4. My employees are my peers, not my children.  Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm.  Excellence is expected everywhere.  As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.  Average bosses see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can’t be trusted if not overseen by a patriarchal management.  Employees take their cues from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their behinds.

5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.  Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing, and (of course) know they’ll share in any rewards.

6. Change equals growth, not pain.  Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life.  While they don’t value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and the overall organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.  Average bosses see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured only when a firm is in desperate shape.  They subconsciously torpedo change — until it’s too late.

7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation. Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships.  They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.

8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.  Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable — and believe, therefore, that the most important job of the manager is (as much as possible) to place people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.  Average bosses buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil.  They fully expect employees to resent having to work, and, therefore, tend to subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as victims.  Everyone then behaves accordingly.

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Eight Things Great Bosses Require From Employees

This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #283

EIGHT THINGS GREAT BOSSES REQUIRE FROM EMPLOYEES

In last week’s commentary, an article by Geoffrey James was abstracted. In a subsequent issue of Inc. Magazine — based on responses received from readers of his column — he wrote a companion article, “8 Things Great Bosses Require from Employees.”  That article is abstracted here for my colleagues in the DCCCD.  James opened his column by stating that (in his previous article) he had not made reference to the expectations of the boss.  “An extraordinary boss communicates his expectations clearly to his team.  That way, everyone understands what it will take to make your company succeed.

“With that in mind:  If you are the boss, you’ll want to share this column with your team, because it will make your job a heck of a lot easier.  And if by chance you’re not the boss, memorize this column — because it contains the key to long-term success.”

1. Be true to your word.  Your boss really wants to trust you.  Therefore, whenever you accept an assignment, follow through religiously, even fanatically.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  Never overcommit, and avoid hedging your bets with vague statements, such as “I’ll try” and “maybe.”  Instead, make your word carry real weight.

2. No surprises, ever.  The secret fear of every boss is that employees are screwing up but are not saying anything about it.  So even if you’re afraid some bad news might upset your boss, make sure he’s informed.  However, if your boss consistently “shoots the messenger,” you can ignore this rule because his behavior shows he really does not want to be in the know.

3. Be prepared on the details.  Your boss wants to believe you’re competent and on top of things.  That’s why the boss sometimes picks an aspect of your job and begins randomly asking penetrating questions. Therefore, whenever you’re meeting with the boss, have the details ready so you can answer these queries with grace and aplomb.

Early in my career, I would be called to meet with the president of Tuskegee University (my second-level supervisor).   It was expected that you would come to the meeting with your yellow legal pad and your private list of “potential questions he could ask.”  I found that to be a very useful technique and believe that it led to later promotions.

4. Take your job seriously.  Bosses appreciate individuals who truly care about what they do and are willing to take the time to achieve a deep understanding of their craft.  Bosses need people who have unique expertise.  You don’t have to be a pro at everything, but you should definitely have a specific area of knowledge that your boss values.

5. Have your boss’s back at all times.  When you see your boss about to make a foolish decision, it’s your responsibility to attempt to convince him to make a different one.  Make your best case, and express yourself clearly.  However, once the decision is actually made, do your best to make it work — regardless of whether you think it was the right one.

6. Provide solutions, not complaints.   Complainers are the bane of a boss’s existence.  Nothing is more irritating or more boring than listening to somebody complain about things that they’re not willing to change.  So never bring up a problem unless you’ve got a proposed solution — or are willing to take the advice that your boss gives you.

7. Communicate in plain language.  Bosses are busy people and have neither the time nor the inclination to wade through piles of jargon and weasel words.  When dealing with your boss, speak and write in short sentences, use the fewest words possible to make a point, and make that point clear and easily understandable.

8. Know your real job.  Regardless of what it says in your job description, your real job is to make your boss successful.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  Your boss’s real job is to make you more successful.  The reversal of these priorities is the source of almost all organizational problems.

Obviously, there may be varying opinions to these eight points.  However, they are certainly worthy of study and reflection.

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Tips on Motivating Others

This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #285

TEN WAYS TO MOTIVATE ANYONE

I make a practice of giving books to friends and associates for holiday occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  One such book is Drive by Daniel Pink.  In it, Pink notes that people perform best when they strive for mastery, and believe that their task is meaningful.  He says money is not the best way to move players to be “players” and not “pawns.”   He also stresses that leaders should strive to understand employees’ thinking and behavioral preferences.  When leaders take that action, it will help them get their workforce aligned and moving in the same direction.  I am sharing with my associates ten ways to motivate from Pink’s book.

1. Analytical types want to know that a project is valuable.

2. People who are structural by nature want to know their work aids the company.  They like to be rewarded in writing.  An encouraging email is an appropriate way to communicate with them.

3. Social people want to feel personally valued.  They prefer to be rewarded in ways that touch the heart.  Written notes are appreciated.

4. Innovative employees must buy into a cause.  To them, the big picture is important.

5. Quiet staffers don’t need a lot of fanfare, but they appreciate private, one-on-one exchanges.

6. Expressive people feel more motivated when assignments are openly discussed.  They like public recognition, with pomp, and with ceremony.

7. Peacekeepers hope everyone will move in the same direction.

8. Hard-drivers are independent thinkers.  If they agree with you, they will be highly motivated.  They like extrinsic rewards and they tend to want whatever it is right away.

9. Those who are focused team members must have confidence in the leader and the mission, otherwise, they will falter.  They want to know up front what kind of reward they can expect.  Leaders must make sure that promises are fulfilled.

10. Flexible people go along with the team, as long as a project does not contradict the plan, and they will be happy with any kind of recognition.

                      Pink also makes the point in his book that leaders should watch for the weakest link among their employees.  If there is a slacker, drifter, or one who just hangs on, this can dampen the motivation of everyone else.

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                      For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


                      Professional Development – New Experiences

                      This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

                      From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #287 – June 2012

                      FIND NEW EXPERIENCES TO OPEN YOUR WORLD

                      Most professionals are familiar with either the name “Ken Blanchard” or his many publications.  He is a very prolific and best-selling author and is the chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies.  In a recent issue of Chief Learning Officer, he had an eye-catching article titled “Open Your World.”  His thesis was one that we are very familiar with in higher education — “When you stop learning and growing, you become stagnant.  At no place is this more obvious than at work.”

                      He writes, “We have all seen that person — or perhaps even have been that person — who is simply not engaged in the workplace.  So how do you open yourself to growth?”  He offers 12 cogent suggestions that I am abstracting for this week’s commentary.

                      • Shadow someone from another department or team.  It can be eye-opening to see the view from a different side of the organization.

                      • Serve on a cross-functional team.

                      • Interview recent retirees and seek their counsel on current issues.  This is a seldom-tapped resource.

                      I have been impressed that recent retiree Phil Todd takes the time to send notes to me and Ed DesPlas as he observes activities in the District.

                      • Have lunch with someone different every day.  Connecting with peers not only expands one’s network, but can also help one feel more engaged.

                      • Attend open enrollment training events at the district-level and at the college locations.  This can broaden one’s perspective.

                      • Travel.  Blanchard writes that where you go is not important.  Just go.  It could just be a new neighborhood or a local tourist site.

                      • Do regular volunteer work.

                      • Start a new hobby.

                      • Learn a foreign language.  You never know when being conversant with a new language might come in handy.  Blanchard writes, “While you are at it, learn as much as you can about the history and culture of the people who speak that language.”

                      • Spend time with interesting people.

                      • Read widely.  If you are already a voracious reader, choose a genre outside your usual taste.

                      • Create your own adventure.

                      I observed a television presentation about President George H.W. Bush in which he went to great length to talk about his desire to skydive (as a new adventure) before his life ended.

                      This direct quote from Blanchard is noteworthy for we professionals who extol the benefits of continued learning.  He writes, “As you move forward on the path of continuous growth, equally important to opening your world at work is opening your world in your personal life.  A balance between interesting professional experiences and exciting personal life experiences is essential to keep growing.”

                      We should think of these new experiences as if they were different colors on a painter’s palette.  The more experiences you have, whether at work or in your personal life, the more colors you have at your disposal and the more likely you are to create your personal masterpiece.

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                      For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


                      Ethical Leadership

                      This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

                      From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #289 – July 2012

                      ETHICAL BEHAVIOR TO THE FOREFRONT

                      The sexual abuse debacle at Penn State and the hazing at Florida A&M University have captured the attention of the general public, media, and also the overall higher education community.  It is generally known that bravery, strength, foresight, discretion, intelligence, wisdom, and integrity are all qualities required of leaders today.  In addition, leaders should have the capacity to bring people together around a common cause, and that elusive quality called charisma.

                      In addition to all of these, two other qualities are paramount.  Leaders should have the ability to figure out when the “greater good” supersedes the so-called “bottom line.”  At no point, in my opinion, should the welfare of the institution supersede that of doing what is fair and right.  Second, I teach in my leadership and ethics classes that leaders should avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

                      We can conclude that in the cases of both Penn State and FAMU, it would appear that leadership considered the reputation of the institution as taking precedence over the welfare of children and college students.  I read in one recent release and observed in the media coverage of both cases that warnings were provided, but no one listened.  It would appear that “the powers that be” were more concerned with not ruffling feathers and protecting long-standing traditions.

                      A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education cited important leadership lessons from both scandals.  I recommend them for our careful consideration.

                      First, leaders have an obligation to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

                      Second, when faced with a scandal, always tell the truth.  There are numerous “what if” questions that could be posed if those who knew about the incidents had immediately spoken up.  When I taught in the Army Command and General Staff College, one of the first lessons was “don’t back away from facing issues head-on.”

                      Third, have the courage to be brave and intolerant of abuse and violence.

                      Fourth, remember that the institutional “brand” is not more important than the lives of children and young people.  FAMU has a long and distinguished history of putting the “Marching 100” (band) on the field to display its members’ talents.  Penn State has an equally long and distinguished history of high-quality football teams.  Those distinguished records do not provide justification for inaction and “turning your head,” or “hoping a situation will go away.”

                      The effective leader acts as a living symbol, personifying the values of productive communities.  Gandhi, for example, backed up his call for sacrifice by simple living.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a country in which his children would be judged by their character, not their racial background.  Gandhi and King personified values that kept the “greater good” at the forefront.

                      We can follow their example by choosing the collective interest over personal interest, bringing uncomfortable topics out in the open, and listening to others who surface questionable behavior.

                      Sometimes even the best-intentioned leaders are unaware of their own or their employees’ unethical behavior.  Four reasons come to mind:  (1) Motivated Blindness – we overlook the unethical behavior of others when we believe it is in our best interest to remain silent; (2) Indirect Blindness – we hold others less accountable for unethical behavior when it is carried out through third parties; (3) The Slippery Slope – we are less able to see the unethical behavior of others when it develops gradually; and (4) Overvaluing Outcomes – we give a pass to unethical behavior if the outcome is perceived to be good.

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                      For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


                      Great By Choice

                      This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

                      From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #297 – September 2012

                      GREAT BY CHOICE

                      We begin each meeting of the Chancellor’s Staff with a presentation by a staff member that serves as a teaching point or information item.  At one of our meetings, [Richland College] President Kay Eggleston provided a brief overview of a book by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen titled Great by Choice.  She began her presentation with a quotation by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who stated:  “One should . . . be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”  She stated that the Fitzgerald quotation summarized the leaders and organizations highlighted in the book.

                      Great by Choice Key Points

                      • The best leaders studied are not more risk taking or more visionary.  They observe what works, figure out why it works, and build upon proven foundations.  They are more disciplined, more empirical, and more paranoid.
                      • Innovation alone is not the trump card.  Great leaders know how to scale innovation and blend creativity with discipline.
                      • Using Amundsen’s trek to the South Pole in 1911 as an example, the authors make the point that organizations should not wait until they are in an unexpected storm to discover that they need more strength and endurance.  Great leaders prepare with intensity all the time so that when conditions take a negative turn, the organization can draw from a deep reservoir of strength.  Conversely, when conditions are favorable, the organization is in a position to strike hard.
                      • Great leaders have a triad of core behaviors that set them apart:
                        • Fanatic discipline – consistency of action and independence of mind not to succumb to the herd.  They adhere to values despite pressure to do otherwise.
                        • Empirical creativity – a deep empirical foundation for decisions and actions, even in uncertain times.
                        • Productive paranoia – staying highly attuned and hyper-vigilant; knowing that the tide could turn against them without warning, so they’d better be prepared for calm, clearheaded actions, contingency planning, and maintaining large margins of safety.
                        • Great leaders are passionately driven by a cause beyond themselves, despite personality type.
                        • Great leaders adhere to upper and lower bounds — the ambition to achieve and the self-control to hold back.
                        • Great leaders know that success is achieved with great consistency.  Good intentions do not count.
                        • Great leaders fire bullets (low cost, low risk, low distraction), then cannonballs (empirically validated for expenditure of resources).
                        • Great leaders are systematic, methodical, and consistent.
                        • Great leaders know that it’s not about the luck an organization has, but rather what they do with the opportunity.  Great leaders have a high return on luck.

                      The staff members were most appreciative of this sharing provided by Kay.  Let me add just a few quotations from my own toolbox.

                      • “The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.” (Bishop W.C. Magee)
                      • “The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.” (Goethe)
                      • “When one door closes, another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”  (Alexander Graham Bell)

                      This final thought from my toolbox:  “Experience is a hard teacher.  The test is given first, the lesson afterwards.”

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                      For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


                      Success with Social Media

                      This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

                      From: Chancellor’s Weekend Memo #298 – September 2012

                      STEPS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESS IN THE EFFECTIVE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

                      It is an unusual individual who has not been exposed to Facebook or Twitter.  I came across a recently published book, Social Media in Business, written by social media strategist Steve Nicholls that has implications and applications for the world of higher education.  While the book was written for a business audience, his points have broader applications.

                      His focus in the book is that the approach taken by organizations regarding social media is too narrow.  Executives are far too worried about content and not focused enough on context and conditions.  He makes the point that many leaders view social media solely based on Facebook or Twitter Content, which they believe is just a marketing, PR, and website function.

                      Nicholls writes, “Senior leaders must understand the context of the environment in which social media operates.”  He continues, “This means understanding your industry, your competition and your internal environment.  Then they must be responsible for creating the conditions necessary for its (social media) successful implementation.”

                      The author offers a series of tips to help leaders understand the “Three C’s” (content, context, and conditions) and succeed in social media:

                      • Get with the program.  Social media is here to stay.  Think of how far it has come in the last five years and then imagine where it will be in the next five.  Embrace it or be left behind.

                      • Be the architect, be the leader.  As the CEO or leader, you need to create a vision of what social media looks like for your entire organization — just like an architect has a model of the building he is going to construct.  Nicholls writes, “Really support social media at the senior level, not just the people that look after your website.”

                      • Understand the culture and the mindset.   Opening the culture of an organization to the effective use of social media is a major challenge.  He writes, “Banning social media is not a solution any longer, even autocratic political regimes have failed to do so; but using social media within a conducive cultural framework is the ideal response to the Internet revolution.”

                      • Create a common language.  Create a common language for social media so that everyone can participate in the discussion, not just a few experts who know the jargon.  Develop the social media strategy to support the goals of your organization.

                      • Understand and strategically communicate the benefits of social media.

                      • Avoid the dangers of the dark side of social media.  Social media can open an organization to danger and risk, including security issues, PR issues, and HR issues.  Nicholls writes, “While these risks are very real, it is essential not to let them inhibit progress.  The key is to develop a sound social media policy that identifies the risks and mitigates them.”

                      • Have a step-by-step formula.   He emphasizes that a winning social media strategy is one that is adaptable, implemented step-by-step, and is an ongoing model within the context of the organization that sets the right conditions for successful social media implementation.

                      • Time.   He offers this comment that we all can relate to:  “Rome was not built in a day and the same goes with social media.”  Don’t wander blindly into the world of social media.  Hasty actions may bring more problems than benefits.  So the time factor should be weighed properly in order to make sure the social media project is carefully studied before and during its application.

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                      For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


                      What Employers Want

                      This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

                      From: Chancellor’s Idea File #4
                      Presented to: Dallas Rotary Club

                      What Current Employers Are Looking For

                      Ninetyone percent (91%) of employers say that they are “asking employees to take on more responsibilities and to use a broader set of skills than in the past.”

                      Eightyeight percent (88%) of employers say that “the challenges their employees face are more complex than they were in the past.”

                      Eight-eight percent (88%) of employers agree that “to succeed in their companies, employees need higher levels of learning and knowledge than they did in the past.”

                      These comments from three CEOs regarding what employers are looking for are instructive:

                      My company lives and dies on our ability to innovate and to create the new products and processes that give us an edge in this very competitive global economy. ESCO needs people who have both a command of certain specific skills and robust problem-solving and communication skills.” (Steven Pratt, CEO of ESCO Corporation)

                      Employers do not want, and have not advocated for, students prepared for narrow workforce specialties . . . Virtually all occupational endeavors require a working appreciation of the historical, cultural, ethical, and global environments that surround the application of skilled work.” (Robert T. Jones, President, Education Workforce Policy, LLC)

                      Intel Corp. Chairman Craig Barrett has said that 90% of the products his company delivers on the final day of each year did not exist on the first day of the same year. To succeed in that kind of marketplace, U.S. firms need employees who are flexible, knowledgeable, and scientifically and mathematically literate.” (Norman R. Augustine, Retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation)

                      CrossCutting Capacities

                      Anthony Carnevale of Georgetown University said the following: “Irrespective of college major or institutional selectivity, what matters to career success is a student’s development of a broad set of cross-cutting capacities.

                      Beginning in school, and continuing at successively higher levels across their college studies, students should prepare for 21st century challenges by gaining the following:

                      Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts.

                      Intellectual and practical skills, including:

                      • Inquiry and analysis
                      • Critical and creative thinking
                      • Written and oral communication
                      • Quantitative literacy
                      • Information literacy
                      • Teamwork and problemsolving

                      Personal and social responsibility, including:

                      • Civic knowledge and engagement – local and global
                      • Intercultural knowledge and competence
                      • Ethical reasoning and action
                      • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

                      Integrative and applied learning, including:

                      • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies

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                      For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


                      Chancellor’s Post – “Thoughts on Change”

                      This is the another post from Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr., the Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.  We are honored to learn from his experience and leadership knowledge through these posts. Check back monthly for his posts!

                      Blog Post 2 from the Chancellor’s Idea file #3
                      Visions of Excellent class – Spring 2012

                      Change

                      None of us asked to be born at this time in history, but here were are.  We are the first generation of people capable of destroying the world, and we may be the last generation that can save it.  Much will depend on how we educate our people.  Education is that important, and the future is coming at us at warp speed.  There is not place to hide.

                      Forget the status quo.  It has become nothing more than a ticket to obsolescence.  There is no room for “business as usual.” We now realize that in a fast-moving world the organization, community, or country that unleashes the genius of its people through the best possible education will move forward at an unprecedented pace.

                      Unfortunately, the organization, community, or country that does not unleash the genius of its people through the best possible education will fall backward at the same dizzying pace.

                      I believe the challenge is clear.  For anyone in any profession — but especially in higher education — creating a future is the essence of leadership.  I remind you faculty members that you are leaders.  None of us, or our organizations, can be frozen in time.  Instead, we need to see ourselves as works in progress.  Unless we consistently lead the process for shaping a future, someone else will do it for us; the world will not stand still.  It’s that simple…and that complex.

                      I hear community members saying that the “agenda is already full.  How do you expect us to think about the future?” It’s true that present-day issues are consuming; they can fill 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  In fact, ask most educators about the issues they face and they will quickly list the following:  federal and state requirements; achievement gaps; budget needs; staffing; disciplinary concerns; community support; dealing with diversity; attracting and keeping a staff of highly qualified professionals; the condition of facilities; class size; the need to maintain, upgrade, and more effectively use technology; and the completion agenda.

                      Each of these issues is important, without a doubt.  However, unless we can think beyond what I call the top-of-the-desk issues of the day, the world will go around, over, or through us.

                      Some educators express legitimate concern about measuring up to a growing maze of external pressures.  Some would say, “It’s do or die.” “How can we pay attention to the future when the present is sucking up all our time?” I say to you, whatever the issue or requirement, we simply must create a future on top of them.

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                      For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.