Leading with a development mindset

As I’m writing this, I’m getting ready to spend a morning conducting interviews for a vacant position in our office.  One of the things that our team will want to know is how the candidates approach professional development – for themselves and for the people that report to them.

I’ll be asking whether the candidates do any of the following:

  • Participate in activities sponsored by professional organizations in the field – conferences, interest groups, or even the periodic free webinars that are so common these days
  • Identify and follow up on professional development goals each year to be sure they maintain technical and leadership skills
  • Demonstrate interest in learning by reading books, attending development events, etc.
  • Show commitment to support the same kind of behaviors in their staff

As we’ve been considering the leadership competency of “builds organizational talent,” I have been reminded of how important this is within our higher education culture.  Leaders who pays attention to development, both for themselves and for their staff, are more qualified in the short term and more likely to maintain those skills over the long run.

If you were in a job interview, how would you show your commitment to professional development?

Dee Anne Bonebright


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