Combining expert knowledge, experience and reflections from senior leaders to distil collective leadership experiences, this book explores the realities of leadership at universities rather than the imagined and often-unrealistic expectations and perceptions of how leaders should act. This key text is an informed insider’s guide to leadership transitions that will assist talented individuals in considering whether to apply for, how to prepare for and how to take on the task of leading a university. The collection of leadership experiences provided will help universities to be more successful, students to have great educational experiences and staff at all levels to have more-fulfilling working environments. It will also consider how to avoid the emotional pain and suffering that can arise when leaders find themselves poorly equipped, unprepared, unable or unwilling to provide the sound and competent leadership that universities deserve.
Centred on the practice and experience of leadership, this book will be a must-read for all new and existing heads of universities. It will also provide useful insights to those actively involved in the recruitment and development of senior leaders, members of senior leadership teams and those who hold governance roles in universities. Further updates and details about the application of the ideas in the book in practice can be found at www.leadershiptransitionsatthetop.com/.
PART 1: SETTING THE TRAJECTORY 1. Transitions: Concepts connections, challenges 2. Understanding the Role: The delicate balancing act 3. Understanding the Environment: Context and culture 4. ‘Being there’ and routes to ‘there’: Patterns and pathways 5. Undertaking the Journey Up: Motivations and making the cut PART 2: LEADING THE UNIVERSITY 6. Early Days: Surprises and sense-making 7. Senior Leadership Teams: It’s more than you 8. Working on the Agenda: Do strategy and planning really matter? 9. Leading change: From ‘launch pad’ to ‘lift off’ 10. Leading in a Crisis: Don’t forget BC, get through DC, focus on AC 11. Leading Externally: Concepts and cases 12. You and the Role: Surviving and thriving 13. Staying there: Most do, some don’t 14. The art and science of baton passing: Exiting well PART 3: WE NEED TO CHANGE 15. Shaping new beginnings: When, what and how? 16. The Future: for universities, for the Head of University (HoU) role and for transitions 17. Integrated leadership transitions: Planning and action 18. Voices from the top: final reflections on the realities of leading
"There aren’t that many people who aspire to be Vice-Chancellors and even fewer who actually succeed in being appointed. This is an excellent book for those seeking appointment but also for those who make it to the top. Whilst it is presented as a handbook for aspiring and current VCs I do think there is also much of value in here for other senior leaders too. The book draws on the wide and deep experience of the authors in university leadership development which is usefully supplemented by a number of first hand accounts from current and previous Vice-Chancellors. It’s a comprehensive survey ranging from an exploration of the role and characteristics of VCs to how individuals end up getting themselves appointed to such positions." - Paul Greatix, Association of Heads of University Administration