This year I’m a Senior Vice President Fellow on our campus, a small group of faculty and staff selected to peek in on how the university is actually run, and what it takes to positively lead an academic institution. In addition to the meetings with my mentor I have been doing a lot of assigned reading and responding to study questions. In the readings for this week’s upcoming retreat is a book section on ‘leading from the middle,’ strategies one may use to respond to the pressures of concern groups. Being in the middle can be stressful, described in the book as a “squeeze.” I’ve enjoyed most of this book, but this week’s reading is really hitting home. This quote is resonating with me:
In higher education, we often need to complain less, talk more openly and directly, and cut each other more slack.
Lee G. Bolman, Joan V. Gallos. 2011. Reframing Academic Leadership. Jossey-Bass. p. 159.