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Attributes of the Ideal Leader in Higher Education

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Warrolow (2012), on the other hand, argue that transformational leadership is needed in learning institutions as they exhibit purposiveness and extols positive changes using the power of motivations to upgrade or improve the performance of followers. Experts contend that transformational leadership is inclusive of traits that are embodied in transactional and charismatic leadership that are seen amongst visionaries (Warrolow, 2012). This extols the precept that ideal leaders are knowledgeable of its long-term goals but remained uncompromising with human values and desirable principles (Warrolow, 2012). Ideal leaders are likewise deemed innovative and creative in maximizing talents and skills, as these are imperative in confronting challenges (Warrolow, 2012).

In higher education, transformational leadership is essential in managing institutional changes. This entails the need for communicative abilities and the capacity to translate plans into action that are sensitive to the interests and morale of constituents. They are skilled in managing changes (Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009). They know how to gather the support of members by presenting to them the problems of the institutions and the alternatives or remedies that should be undertaken to warrant positive outcome and growth (Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009).

As managers, they engage all stakeholders in a positive discourse to resolve conflicting organizational practices that do not serve the interest of the institution. Therefore, ideal leaders can bring about the transition using mechanisms and frameworks that integrate the goals, norms, behaviors, motives, ethics, resources and standards (Hugo, Dimovski & Akerlavaj, 2009). Procedural as it may sound, but good leaders are also skilled transactional leaders. Applied to higher education, ideal leaders are those perceived focused on goals but is not suffering the dichotomy of managing the institution with typical standards and not confused with their personal morality (Hugo, et al. , 2009).    

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