to prevent a downfall: Avoid hubris, and lead with humility.
Truly great leaders avoid hubris, and they inspire others
by their demeanor of genuine humility. Although humility is
sometimes erroneously interpreted as weakness or timidity,
the humility of accomplished leaders is the result of their inner
strength, effectiveness, and competency. The executive who
consults with subordinates and constituents before making a
decision is not indecisive, but is effectively exercising appropriate organizational team-building skills.
Administrators who lead with humility have the confidence
to admit when they are wrong and eagerly seek input from their
staff. They invite feedback; they are consultative and inclusive;
and they freely share information and leadership responsibilities with their staff.
Those who lead with humility tend to be effective listeners
and to develop collaborative working relationships with internal
and external constituents. They are team players who are
respectful of everyone and eager to acknowledge the excellent
performance of others. They are empowered leaders who trust
others, and, in turn, invoke trust in themselves.
Doris Ching, emeritus vice president for student affairs,
University of Hawai’i System
Love Your Work
Loving your work is essential to success in student affairs. All of us encounter difficult situations in our professional ives, but if you genuinely love what you do then you will
have the fortitude to get through the difficult times of student
tragedies, personal disappointments, and institutional policies.
➤ Loving your work means that you genuinely like
students. It does not mean that you always agree with them or
that you are always proud of the decisions they may make.
➤ Loving what you do means that you learn to effectively translate what student affairs is and has the
potential to be to your academic and administrative
colleagues. It means that you get involved in the life of your
institution and become a citizen of the college or university
where you are employed beyond the scope of your particular
➤ Loving what you do means that you listen to folks
when they tell you that you are over-extended, and you
take the time to reassess your priorities. It means that you
have the courage to fail, pick yourself up, and start all
Margaret “Peggy” Barr, professor emeritus,