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Internal Journeys of College Presidents: Diary Reflections about Leadership and Values: Part II
Journal of College and Character (2002)
  • Stephen J Nelson, Bridgewater State College
Beyond these demands on their personal lives and those of their partners and families of presidents are the larger, and in many ways more difficult, relentless passages which must be navigated in the life of institutions and in the office of the president. These are the points of intersection, to name just a few of the forces, between and among leadership dynamics, the organizational culture of the college, its institutional saga, its diverse and often competing constituencies, and its stated and unstated mission and purpose. Here the very real politics and the necessary use of human capital takes place. Frank Smallwood, emeritus Professor of Government and Director of the Nelson Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College, once remarked employing an analogy from a card game, that all leaders, especially college presidents, have only so many chips of goodwill stacked in front of them at the beginning of their tenure. They can expend these however rapidly they wish, but the reality is there are only so many chips in the stack, and they are not replenishable. Some might argue whether political and human capital cannot in fact at times be regained. But no matter how one views it, there is certainly a finite amount of goodwill any president has to enjoy over time.
  • Leadership values
Publication Date
October 1, 2002
Citation Information
Stephen J Nelson. "Internal Journeys of College Presidents: Diary Reflections about Leadership and Values: Part II" Journal of College and Character Vol. 3 Iss. 8 (2002)
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