How To Be an Academic Leader and Maintain Time For Yourself
Seventh grade English class and your assignment is to write a one pager about what you want to be when you grow up. Hmmm…sports writer, teacher, astronaut, video game creator, nurse, cowboy/girl, police person, senior faculty member! Wait, what?
Fast forward thirty years, and you find yourself sitting in a bigger office than most, with windows! And the label outside the door says, Dr. XYZ, Chair, Department of ABC.
Whether that sounds like heaven or hell, take a deep breath and read this brief but instructive article by sociologists Joya Misra and Jennifer Lundquist.
It’s for you whether you’re already a senior faculty member or working toward that goal. You’ll find yourself pondering where you score on accomplishing their list of practical tips to make life work when the office demands are continuous and you’re yearning for time.
Before reading, know that the very survival skill that has brought you to this point of professional success will need tweaking—control. Misra and Lundquist write that control and the micro-managing that goes along with it must go.
In its place these solutions work better in leadership. Read on and learn to:
- Schedule face time
- Set clear expectations about when you are available to your mentees, colleagues and even administrators higher up than you
- Organize your schedule
- Listen to criticism without taking it personally
- Schedule holidays and vacations and TAKE THEM
It is possible to be an important voice and leader without paying for it emotionally, mentally and physically. And maybe even have dinner with the family most nights. Hey, if Barak Obama could do it as Prez, I think there is hope for us all.