Talk On Being a Leader in Academia and Five Key Things That I Focus on as a Leader

I have been invited to talk about my experience as a leader in academia. I will talk to people working in different leadership positions at Uppsala University.

I was invited to do the same kind of talk a year ago, and that time it felt like I talked way too fast. This time I will do better!

There are five key things that I focus on in my leadership.

1) Celebrate success! I always celebrate success to really notice all small positive things. Academia is a tough place, and it is easy to remember and think of failure. And I fail a lot! I also try to encourage my team to celebrate success and to share success.

2) Collaborate with your team in decision. Your team consists of lots of knowledgeable people and discussing with them around decisions is for sure the best strategy in any situation. Of course you cannot discuss all decisions, but generally talking to other people and getting their perspective is a good idea.

3) Share failure stories. Sharing failure stories is as important as sharing success stories. When you fail in getting published, When you did not get that grant or when you did crap at that presentation – share it with your team and you will get support and create an atmosphere where it is OK to fail. ”Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” (Robert F. Kennedy).

4) Take time off work. There are far too many in academia who don’t understand that taking time off is the key to living in a sustainable way, to be creative and to be the person you want to be. We need time off work to be our best.

5) Never stop learning and being curious of people. People are an endless source of inspiration and there is always something you can learn from other people. Make sure that you keep your mind open to new ideas and new ways of thinking.