Leadership tips from NAIT president Dr. Glenn Feltham

Feltham: Leadership is all about people. You need to empower people and support those you empower. I will never tell people what decision they should make in their domain. If they’d like to discuss it, I’m more than willing, but you’ll never build a great institution if you insist on making the decisions yourself.

I also believe in open communication. Let people know what’s happening, both the good and the bad. You can never communicate enough or too much. You want to ensure that you do everything you can to talk to all the stakeholders.

I do believe, however, that once you make a decision, an organization can only function effectively if people rally around that decision. Until that stage where you make a decision, consult very broadly and deeply, and then make the decision [with] an expectation that we’ll move forward with it.

All leaders have an obligation to be involved in building their community.

I believe that it’s very important that people act with integrity. I also believe that you need to be credible, that you do what you said you’re going to do. And if you can’t do that, for goodness sake tell people why.

I believe in community, that all leaders have an obligation to be involved in building their community.

And, finally, I would say I believe in alignment. If we’re truly going to become exceptional, we have to align our resources with our strategy. Essentially, that means if we decide that certain things are important and other things are less important, that only has meaning if we’re willing to move resources from the less important thing to the more important thing.

That would be my Leadership 101.

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