LAHORE:09 august: Speakers at a seminar have said that the credibility and experience of university life are crucial for genuine leadership to bring about positive change in socio-economic and political landscape of Pakistan. They said while addressing the seminar organised on the core subject of leadership by University of Management and Technology here on Wednesday. They said UMT through its leadership programme was hoping to cultivate a new culture of leadership in higher education institutions to motivate deans, directors and heads of departments to emerge from their current positions as potential leaders and energise people around them for maximum performance. The speakers urged demonstrating original leadership skills that they believed were necessary for organisational effectiveness and sustainable human development, not only in academia, but in all spheres of life. UMT Chairman Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad believed that the university leadership programme would inspire other universities to follow the suit by developing their leadership programmes in accordance with their organisational environment and culture they stood for. He said that credibility and experience of university life were crucial for genuine leadership to bring about positive change in socio-economic and political landscape of the country. Quoting the great Greek scholar Socrates as saying that only philosophers are able to govern the country well, Dr Murad said that the individuals who had attended quality education and training during academic careers at an institutions of higher education were the only hope to take the country to the next advanced level of stability as the education that they had received would force them to take responsibility for what they do, not to get involved in any sort of corruption, and not to fall prey to political and social stereotypes and ruin public life. He said that any leadership programme that was not paving the way for growth and innovation would be soon outdated and of no use at all. Dr Murad urged obtaining command of the relevant knowledge transformation to the new generation in an innovative way. Punjab Higher Education Chairman Prof Dr. Nizam-ud-Din also addressed the seminar. He said every university, be it in public or private sector, must have a centre of excellence to transfer leadership skills to key stakeholders. He said leadership skills were necessary for important university positions such as deans, directors and heads of departments, but every faculty member ought to demonstrate these skills whilst in the classroom. Dr Nizam appreciated UMT for launching the leadership programme in a new context and advised other universities to do the same. Other speakers said that social, political, and economic problems as well as deep divisions among the national institutions were the result of poor leadership and managerial skills that needed to be improved through higher education and special training. Effective leadership skills, including the ability to communicate and negotiate with the students and other members of society, are also important. They said that majority of Pakistani universities lacked systematic approach for identifying and imparting leadership skills. They argued that it was the need of the hour to launch maximum leadership training programmes at all levels of courses. While the university leadership is fundamentally different from leadership in other contexts, and demands additional competencies, the government must take universities on board regarding consultancy on socio-economic indicators and policy matters related to key fields especially education and economics, they said. During question-answer session, it was debated whether leaders in higher education should be pure academicians or professional business administrators. The participants said although there was some overlap between leadership and management, leadership had been defined as a process of influence leading to the achievement of desired purposes. Leadership is different from management, which involves effectively maintenance of an organisation's day-to-day operations and implementation of the policies. They said a charismatic or transformational leadership style might be more effective in an educational setting, but it must also be practiced in other fields especially in politics and civil service. They said that leadership was a social process that engaged everyone in the community and universities were the best places to produce leaders of tomorrow.The news.