Cruising through LinkedIn the other day, I was pleased to see so many new enrollment leadership hires at several campuses. Fall can be so exciting with the start of a new academic year, but also fraught with anxiety as these positions are filled with new faces, new ideas, and great anticipation for future success.
The honeymoon phase for many campuses has begun with their new leadership in enrollment management.
While acclimating to a new campus, enrollment management leaders are always invited to meet with every constituency on campus. Faculty, coaches, and other administrative teams have a vested interest in the success of enrollment in their degree programs, playing on their teams, and being involved with their campus clubs and organizations.
Enrollment management leaders understand that every interaction is important — whether it is between themselves and campus, their teams and, of course, the students who they are recruiting. It goes without saying that enrollment management is a very personal business.
Now more than ever, new leaders must understand that their very presence can and will influence the entire campus. Understandably, it is a very busy time on campus right now. Expectations of success for next year’s class are very high.
But as a new leader, you must take the time to immerse yourself in campus culture and data before you can begin making necessary changes. In most instances, the team you inherit will have the answers to the questions you have.
New leaders must lead with authenticity and take time to learn about their campus culture but not loose site of their immediate teams. Infusing new leadership into any organization is a transition that can take time. These new leaders must get a deep understanding of what motivates each team member, so that they can tap into and influence their team’s self-motivation to achieve goals. Doing so will set the stage for a tremendous transition and a foundation for future success.
Here are four reminders for new leaders on a new campus:
- Be present for your team. Too often new leaders are pulled away to meetings with other constituencies.
- Communicate effectively. Email and memo leave a paper trail; however, it is important that leaders spend facetime with their teams listening and providing direction.
- Remember there was someone in your role prior to your arrival. You must establish your relationships with your team with that in mind.
- Don’t forget to get a student perspective on what is good and bad about the campus. This knowledge helps with messaging.
If you are one of those new leaders, or a team member welcoming a new leader to your institution, be sure to give each other real time to build meaningful relationships.
By Chris Harris, Senior Enrollment Strategist, Capture Higher Ed