New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Edited by Stephen P. Banks
Patrice M. Buzzanell, Rebecca Meisenbach and Robyn Remke INTRODUCTION A small group of faculty members gathered in a conference room to discuss prominent individuals at their universities and lessons the faculty members had learned from being on all-university committees. One professor described her participation on a top oﬃcer search committee. After a summary of candidates’ oﬃcial records, ‘Sue’ said that the discussion among deans and VPs centered on the candidates’ leadership styles and administrative successes. All the records displayed outstanding achievements and all the names being ranked for the short list were middle-aged white men – except one. When Sue questioned why the lone woman to have survived previous screenings was not listed in the top three despite her considerable accomplishments, the committee members remarked that she did not seem to have a take-charge attitude and forceful style. Sue related this story with a smile. In the meeting, Sue acknowledged that the woman had a diﬀerent style from the other candidates, but she also was able to point out all that this woman had done in a relatively short time, with accolades from those who reported to her. Sue remarked that if she had not been on that committee, the female candidate would never have been oﬀered the top oﬃcer position. And that university would have missed a huge opportunity to bring in talent that helped move the university strategic plan in innovative directions and with member commitment in the process. So what was really going...
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