From the Desk: Preparing for take-off



In 4 days, I hop a plane to Cambridge to gather with some of the coolest librarians at the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at Harvard. I’m pretty excited, but feeling the nerves creep up as travel approaches.

Harvard has kept me busy, distracting me from the stresses of travel by giving me tons of really interesting case studies and this book, Reframing Academic Leadership. In fact, that book made my High Five for Friday post last week – w00t! I wasn’t expecting it to be a fun read, but the way that it challenges you to reframe your perspective through story is pretty cool, I recommend it.

I’m still sort of in shock that I’m actually going, since I don’t have “Manager” or “Director” or “Department Head” in my title. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I do take charge on a lot of projects, outreach initiatives, and committees – I lead groups more than I think, and I am hoping I come away with a few things:

1. Discover my own leadership strengths and weaknesses.  I think I already know a few of these, but I am looking forward to some group discussion on what I can improve or change.

2. Learn to think more strategically about student/faculty needs. In an ever-changing environment as academia, I think that learning how to play chess with the best of them is going to be very important in the future.

3. Learn how to be an effective leader. I worry sometimes that I am too much of a push-over, especially when it comes to event planning. I want to be able to lead in my projects without second-guessing myself.


Have any of you attended a leadership institute like this, and if so, what did you gain? Stay tuned for next week’s From the Desk as I’ll be in Cambridge behind a desk at Harvard. 🙂

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