Are You Tough Enough?

As administrators weíve heard it often enough and probably said it a few times ourselves: ďIn order to be an academic leader, you have to be able to make the tough decisions. What deans and department chairs do is hard work. You need to stand up for whatís right, not whatís popular, and take the heat when youíre doing what you know is right.Ē Thereís certainly plenty of truth to these statements. Itís always easier to say yes to someone than to say no, and itís particularly difficult to refuse a request from someone you regard as a colleague, perhaps even as a friend. But itís also easy to focus far too much on the need for academic leaders to have a thick skin and to screen every candidate for an administrative position with the litmus test of ďAre you tough enough?Ē

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