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Invest in leadership development … especially when times are tough!

Invest in leadership development … especially when times are tough!

In times of uncertainty and resource-constrained times, being a consistently good and effective leader is not easy. As we move towards a general election in the UK, there is much media focus and debate about what makes a successful leader and also, conversely, what doesn’t! Whether you are a political leader, national sports coach or a senior leader in a university, there are always challenges to be faced. The ability to lead organisations and teams to success in times of adversity differentiates the best leaders from the rest. University leaders, like all effective leaders, need to reappraise regularly how best to lead.

The ability to respond, based on knowledge of the global, political, technological and socioeconomic changes, using data to inform decision making and gaining increased confidence in leading transformation are important and recurring themes in the NCEE suite of Entrepreneurial Leadership programmes. Applying a entrepreneurial and creative mindset to seek out opportunities and to seek ways of “doing things more efficiently or differently” become increasingly important when resources are tight.

In times of resource constraint and uncertainty, it is easy to allow investment in leadership development to slip down the priority list. The leadership author, John C. Maxwell comments that the single biggest way to impact an organisation is to invest in leadership development and learning. It is therefore perverse that leadership development budgets are cut at times when they are most needed. Senior university leaders have a responsibility to invest, not only in their personal development, but also in the development of their team members. Making time during annual appraisal or performance review conversations to discuss such needs is important in terms of wider organisational development, achieving strategic objectives and succession planning.

At NCEE, we offer a portfolio of highly relevant, HE sector focussed, entrepreneurial leadership programmes, including the flagship Entrepreneurial University Leaders, Emerging Entrepreneurial Leaders, Entrepreneurial Student Life Leaders and Enterprise Entrepreneurial Leaders. These programmes are designed to enhance leaders’ abilities to apply an entrepreneurial leadership mindset, lead transformational change and respond creatively to challenges in higher education. They also provide opportunities for networking, interaction with thought leaders in higher education and peer-learning and support.

Being a senior leader in higher education is unlikely to get any easier in the foreseeable future. Good leaders recognise the importance of continuing learning and development for themselves and teir teams, along with the importance of ongoing budgetary investment in leadership development especially when times are tough.

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