How to Fail as an Academic Leader

Effective academic leaders teach us a great deal. They serve as inspiring role models, provide examples of best practices, and demonstrate that leadership at its best can utterly transform a college or university. But despite all the benefits we can derive from highly effective academic leaders, failed academic leaders actually teach us more. While much of the success that effective academic leaders have is due to their individual style and personality—which is often so unique to them that it can’t really be borrowed by anyone else—failed academic leaders provide a practical education in what not to do. Although their failures may also be due to their own styles and personalities, we can learn to avoid these mistakes and thus become at least a bit more effective in our own leadership environments.

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