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Howard Gardner
Scholar

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

Don't Count Years

Length of time is not the issue; appropriateness for the position and the capacity to change and grow are the crucial factors.

In the area I know best, there are university presidents who excel for one or even two decades, because they continue to learn on the job, confront new challenges, become powerful mentors for those who will go on to occupy leadership positions in their or in other higher educational settings. Conversely, for some presidents, a few years are too long. I'd be very surprised if the issue were qualitatively different in other sectors.

Successful leaders -- as defined by knowledgeable others -- should retire when they no longer feel that they can handle the job expertly or when they seek new challenges.

By Howard Gardner

 |  May 26, 2009; 4:36 PM ET
Category:  Succession Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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