Stalwarts 2022

Education Stalwarts 2022 | Suja George, Vice Chairperson of Alpha Group of Institutions | Leaders in Education

A true visionary leader according to me is one who is willing to listen, accept advice and the suggestions given to them by their team members. They hear the voice of their team to facilitate effective team-work.

The strength of effective team-work and the strategic manner in which the leader can garner the enthusiasm and motivation of the team, to work in congruence and co-ordination in order to take ownership in the pursuit to achieve organizational goals is imperative for the success of an educational institution.

“Great leaders don’t look for followers they endeavor to create more leaders in order to help many others to find and createtheir own destinies.”

As a leader, I have always inspired, directed, instructed, guided and led by conscientious action.

Empowering my colleagues to sharpen their strengths and facilitating distributed leadership have not only encouraged and motivated my team to improve performance but have also kept them happier, more productive, and more connected to the organization. Giving them the ownership of their work and making them take responsibility of their actions automatically inculcates leadership skills in them, as opposed to them being mere followers and blindly doing what they are told.

As a leader, I have always tried to lead by example; I don’t just push team members towards excellence — rather, I have always strived to actively demonstrate that excellence. This is why my team members look up to me.

Integrity, empathy, discipline, and hard work are some of the authentic attributes I strive to represent as core facets in my leadership style.

Learning to provide constructive feedback is critically important for leaders. In my institution, I have often helped my fellow team leaders learn, grow and perform better by giving effective positive feedback first and later applying the same tools to giving feedback about areas which need to be improved upon.

The crisis posed by the pandemic resulted in a dramatic change in education, with the distinctive rise of e-learning. A holistic approach to education became crucial in times of the crisis.

To ensure that the teaching-learning process remained uninterrupted during the pandemic, we had to migrate to flexible teaching and learning modality, recalibrate the curriculum and enhance the capacity of the faculty.

Adapting to the changing needs of pedagogy and technology in a timely manner and providing adequate training to teachers have been our strengths which have helped during the pandemic and ensured that the transition to the digital mode of learning was done seamlessly.

Motivation plays an important role in an institution as it increases the morale and performance of the teachers and enables achieving the school goals in an efficient way.

A well motivated teacher is vital to a successful classroom and thus, better learning outcome.

To enhance motivation among teachers, I think it is imperative to not only provide a conducive work environment and facilitate training for individualized needs in the personal and professional growth of teachers, but it is also important to constantly encourage, praise and reward achievements.

There are multifarious challenges that are faced by today’s leaders that push them to their physical, emotional, mental or spiritual limits – but those who are resilient never give up. They tend to show courage when every other person cowers, as they constantly strive to make an impact by going at challenges head on.

Despite being fatigued, exhausted, and drained by their experiences, resilient leaders through traits of perseverance, integrity, empathy, positive attitude, and adaptive skills are able to lead successful organizations. Having a ‘never give up attitude’ is thus extremely crucial for leaders to be effective and achieve success.

My message to the upcoming professionals in the field of education is that – Just as much as being humane, empathetic and working with fairness and integrity are non-negotiable traits which serve well to effectively lead, it is also of great importance to be disciplined, responsible, honest and continuously educate oneself to master skills, and thereby lead with confidence, professionalism and competence.

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