These comments on empowerment illustrate an important theme about empowerment that has important implications for the exercise of leadership in higher education institutions. Educational professionals carry a lot of authority and responsibility for leadership that spans the school, departments, committees, program organization in various units and activities. Given the definition of leadership, we can clearly see why those who hold positions of formal authority such as president, dean or chairperson are not the only leaders or the most effective leaders in educational institutions. Maybe, but not her leader. In some situations such a person may be better described as more of a person, a manager, a figurehead or a paper shuffler. At one extreme they may act as dictators who glory in imposing their will on others, or at the other extreme as individuals who simply cannot make decisions. Conversely, individuals with little formal power or authority can play a significant role in leadership. The exercise of leadership can be found at every level of the organization's formal hierarchy, especially in academic communities where authority is fragmented and widely dispersed.

We should not, of course, be too quick to sever the link between leadership, power and authority. Effective leaders are often characterized by their ability to use administrative, legal, coercive, and symbolic power responsibly and effectively. The ability to do so is not a simple achievement, but an organizational and ethical one. Both appointed and other types of leaders gain power informally through relationships, talent, expertise, and political skills. A critical question for leadership in colleges and universities is how power, authority, and influence are used to define and achieve shared purpose. Governance is one thing and interpersonal leadership is another; But those empowered have the opportunity and responsibility to transform it into mutual leadership. One way to systematically accomplish this transformation is to embed a strategic leadership process throughout the organization.