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Stop looking for 'heroic' principals, says leadership expert

Colleges should stop looking for “heroic, inspirational” principals and instead develop systems in which anybody can become a leader, according to an international expert.

American academic James Krantz, who specialises in leadership and organisational change, said the further educatiob sector had become “caught up” in its reliance on charismatic figureheads, an approach that was “dysfunctional” in the modern world.

Dr Krantz, who has taught at Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, gave the inaugural lecture of the Further Education Trust for Leadership in London last week.

The founder of the consultancy WorkLab said the UK FE sector needed to change its ideas about leadership in order to become less reliant on inspirational leaders at the top.

“Rather than hoping for god-like, heroic leaders, who will see the way forward and through their skilful, entrepreneurial strategies pull our institutions forward, the institutions that thrive will find ways to foster leadership at all levels,” he said.

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