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This episode offers a powerful lesson on the importance of being brave and tenacious in the face of perceived adversity. Don Quixote IT Leadership Principle 2: Sometimes we face obstacles in our institutions that appear to be insurmountable; however, true technology leaders find the courage and stamina to persevere. If we look back only a few years, we may remember how hard it was to convince our institutions that we needed budget replacement cycles for computers, network electronics, and instructional technology equipment in classrooms.

Lessons in Leadership from Don Quixote

Today, we probably relish our recent quests to deploy wireless networks or Voice-over IP, even when some network engineers and customers declared the technologies insecure, unnecessary, or technically inferior. As I contemplate our roles of advancing the mission of the college or university with the judicious use of technology, I can see many obstacles ahead.

Don Quixote Book I Lesson Plan

Instead of adopting a passive stance, one of despair, my team members and I seek out new opportunities and challenges in all these areas. We continue to conduct pilot projects and implementations of groundbreaking technologies, such as social networks or electronic books, in our effort to support and enrich the work of our community members.

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I have a special fondness for another celebrated episode in the life of Don Quixote: his encounter with the galley prisoners. In one of their early adventures, Don Quixote and his trusted squire, Sancho Panza, encountered a group of chained prisoners, watched by guards of the Crown of Spain.

Don Quixote asked each prisoner why he had been convicted.

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At first, the convicts expressed their gratitude, but eventually they turned against our hero. I regularly meet with faculty members, senior administrators, librarians, staff members, and student leaders.

I have insisted, at every institution where I have served, in running technology-satisfaction surveys, particularly among students. I take these comments and survey results very seriously.

Lesson Plan #3: Don Quixote

When evaluating plans and projects, we must put ourselves in the shoes of all the constituents we serve and do our best to defend their interests. Frequently, our job as leaders is to represent the student body or the faculty and request adequate technology resources for them in committees and forums. Sometimes, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that all staff members, including non-office workers, can use electronic resources by granting staff access to public computers, e-mail accounts, online services, and proper training.

Feedback and comments are very useful, but on occasion one must take them with a grain of salt and a good dose of humor. A few weeks ago, a student requested an appointment with me to discuss wireless connectivity on campus. He complimented the members of the technology team on their work to expand wireless coverage to the most remote areas of our campus.

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In his mind, the reality was less what others thought they were, but what he himself imagined and believe them to be. In the same way, good leaders need to go beyond the ordinary. They need to stick to it despite what naysayers may be saying, and brush off those negative voices. The second virtue is Commitment. Here, it is important to disregard to some extent the law of consequences in the world. Commitment can come in the form of a strong stick-to-itiveness to whatever one believes strongly in, and to bring honour to that cause.

Lesson Plan: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Like Don Quixote, leaders need to have a constant sense of affirmation and true enjoyment in what he or she does. Personally, I was deeply inspired by these simple lessons of what it meant to be a leader.

Sometimes the more outlandish your goal, the better it would be. If you shoot for the stars, you would at least land on the moon. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, success and failure. Thank you for your thoughts… The three qualities you mention are indeed very important…commitment, joy and immagination are three qualities that are neccessary: Imagination… because we have a greater chance and power to create Commitment… because we need to commit to our vision and not stray with too many distractions.


Joy… as we need to love laugh and be authentic in whta we do… Three great qualities for the leader of the 21st century. Hello; I love this post. And thankfully the blogosphere is full of people ready and willing to share their knowledge and talents with new bloggers. I personally have met lots of supportive people on the net. I did wonder why passion was mentioned in the title and not as one of the three points. I know that finding my passion about nine years ago when I started my own online business brokering amusement equipment. It gave me a reason to get up in the morning besides feeding my dog or a favorite tv show.

Thanks for sharing, Max the blind blogger. Your email address will not be published.