Leadership is often defined as the ability to guide, direct or influence people. To me leadership is so much more. We should never underestimate the importance of leadership. Everything rises and falls on leadership. Leadership is a journey and it takes time and commitment to become an effective leader. It’s a journey filled with exciting turns and twists, days of victories and days of defeat, seasons of mourning and seasons of celebration.
The four fundamental factors of production are land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship. The final factor belies the vital importance of leadership in business settings. Leadership acts as the catalyst that makes all other elements work together; without leadership, all other business resources lie dormant. Savvy business leaders are in tune with the needs and issues of their subordinates, and keep up to date on new developments in leadership theory and methodology to maximize their effectiveness.
As the educational opportunities increase in the north country, the chamber had the opportunity to add a new member to our organization, St. John Fisher College from Rochester and I had the pleasure of meeting the associate professor of the Education Doctorate Program, Michael W. Wischnowski, to discuss their programs. St. John Fisher is expanding to the north country and is offering an education doctorate degree in executive leadership.
St. John Fisher College is the newest academic institution to join the Jefferson Higher Education Center at Jefferson Community College. The first cohort of this doctorate program started in Rochester began in 2007 and in May the seventh cohort will begin their studies.
This doctorate program is also offered at St. John Fisher’s extension site in New Rochelle and looking to add Watertown as another location.
When meeting with Dr. Wischnowski and discussing the opportunity of offering this program in Watertown, he stated that research had been done and demonstrated that there were sufficient numbers of people with master’s degrees in the area to have a possible interest in a doctoral program offered in Watertown. Multiple industries in the Watertown area (for example, education, health care, non-profit, military, business and higher education) also may find value in a program that takes a multidisciplinary approach to leadership studies. Also, Jefferson Community College’s Higher Education Center provides great facilities and services for visiting colleges to the area and has been very hospitable and welcoming.
PIETROSKI: Who would be the ideal candidate for this program?
WISCHNOWSKI: The ideal candidate should have a master’s degree from an accredited college, at least three years of leadership experience and some record of success and confidence as a leader.
PIETROSKI: What would you consider the top three “take aways” for a student who successfully completes this program?
WISCHNOWSKI: What students tell us is that one, it enhances the way you think, write and lead, two, the dissertation becomes evidence to employers that you have expertise in a particular topic related to their chosen field, and three, job and consulting opportunities increase.
PIETROSKI: What would you say makes the importance of a doctorate program in leadership versus another area of study?
WISCHNOWSKI: Leadership is a broad topic that can be applied in multiple situations. As people look to promotions and career changes, a degree in leadership can offer some vital and applicable skills while still being able to concentrate in a certain field of study.
Mr. Wischnowski concluded with, “Leadership is about being able to build relationships with people to achieve shared goals in an organized and purposeful manner while using the resources available to you, and recognizing the strengths and tolerances of those with whom you work. There is an art and a science to it, and we teach you both.”
Visit www.sjfc.edu/graduate to learn more about this program.
LYNN PIETROSKI is president and CEO of the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.