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CU Academic Leaders, Directors Conclude Training; Set to Leverage on New Leadership Skills

As part of the strategic efforts to make Covenant University more robust in delivering qualitative service for the realization of its vision and goals, the University Management recently concluded a two-part training exercise for all Academic Leaders and Directors in the institution; doubling as an induction and reorientation to the vision and policies of the University.

In his opening remarks at the event, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun Adebayo, appreciated all participants and encouraged everyone to be open-minded and be positioned to make the most of the sessions, stating that nobody is above learning, no matter how much they already know. He encouraged them not to be casual about the exercise, but rather approach the training with meekness in order to learn, relearn, and unlearn to move the University forward.

He buttressed his point with a quote by Marissa Mayer, “The key to balancing work and life is finding something that you love to do and making it work for you," and Stephen Covey, "I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions."  

While delivering his presentation titled, ‘Balancing Academic and Administrative Responsibilities as Academic Leaders,’ Professor Adebayo described an academic leader as a person who motivates academics in a university, college, or department; and provides challenging opportunities, while creating appropriate academic environments for academics to improve themselves. They spearhead the academic units and directorates of the University and perform academic and administrative responsibilities, he said.

He stressed on the dysfunctionality that usually comes with a lack of possession of administrative skills in leadership and pointed out the characteristics of a good academic administrator, including commitment to organizational vision, mission, and goal, conceptual skill, attention to detail, delegation, talent growth, hiring savvy, emotional intelligence, creativity, innovations, and resourcefulness.

Professor Adebayo encouraged academic leaders to clarify their vision, mission, and goals, noting that when goals are being prioritized, one can focus their time, energy, and resources on the most important and urgent tasks and delegate or eliminate the less relevant or redundant ones. In the planning phase of any endeavor, he said, it is very necessary to collaborate with others who share the same vision, goals, and values.

“You can build a strong and supportive team of faculty and staff who can help you with various tasks and projects, such as research clusters and networks, by seeking feedback, advice, and mentoring from other leaders who have more experience or expertise in certain areas, and by collaborating with others, you can leverage their skills, knowledge, and perspective.”

“Identify the strengths, interests, and potentials of your team members, and assign them tasks and roles that match their abilities and goals. Provide them with clear expectations, guidelines, resources, and support, and trust them to complete the tasks and roles independently and responsibly. By delegating and empowering others, you can free up some of your time and energy and also develop their leadership and ownership, ” he added

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olujide Adekeye, while making his presentation, titled, ‘Team Building to Prevent Toxic Workplace,’ explained that team building is a crucial element for the growth and success of organizations, therefore, building a positive work environment and fostering team cohesion is critical, to avoid a toxic workplace.

He stated, “Team building as it implies, is the process by which differences in organization are ironed out by resolving misunderstanding within vertical groups and horizontal groups.  In a toxic work environment, employees are stressed, communication is limited, blame culture is rife, and people are rewarded (tacitly or explicitly) for unethical, harmful, or nasty attitudes and actions.”

“The simple answer is that employees who are focused on personal gain use tactics that are questionable and in the process they annoy and manipulate coworkers and pollute the environment,” he added

In her remarks during her presentation at the training exercise, titled, ‘Understanding Covenant University Administrative Processes and Procedures, Matters Arising,’ the Registrar, Mrs. Regina Tobi-David, stated that the performance of any institution is hinged on efficient and effective administrative processes. Therefore, she said, academic leaders are required to efficiently manage the University resources both human and non-human, towards the achievement of desired objectives.

According to the Registrar, “Procedures are step-by-step instructions on how policies are to be achieved. A policy defines a rule, and the procedure defines who is expected to do it and how they are expected to do it. A procedure is the instructions on how a policy is followed.”

Other presentations include, ‘Spirituality: A Key Prerequisite for Effective Leadership,’ by the Chaplain, Pastor Judah ‘Ola, where he cited a leadership definition by Peter Northouse, in his book, ‘Introduction to Leadership Theory and Practice’ where he defined leadership as, ‘A process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.’

According to him, leadership is a process, and spiritual values have repeatedly been found to be key elements of effective leadership. He charged the new leaders to uphold values that have long been considered spiritual ideals, such as integrity, honesty, and humility, which have been demonstrated to affect leadership success.

He pointed out the spiritual virtues exemplified in the life of Moses, which include meekness, adding that leaders are learners and no leader can impact any more than he is willing to learn. Effective leaders, he said, are open and willing to learn.



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