The latest insights on narrative, storytelling and leadership in higher education.



Articles and longer-reads to trigger new thinking.

Compassion can change the world

By Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leeds, for Medium

Read or listen

Universities can and should be at the forefront of this new way of thinking and acting. We are well positioned to lead by example and to start shifting the dial in the direction of institutional compassion. We are communities full of people who are inherently driven by the wish to contribute to a better world. Our outputs are not financial; our main product is knowledge; we teach large groups of people to be the next, more enlightened and considerate generation of global citizens; and local community work and global collaboration is at the heart of the majority of what we do.

How I approach the toughest decisions at work

Our choices reflect and determine who we are

By Barack Obama on Medium

The three problems of power

By Margaret Heffernan on Medium

Part one: Pleasing

The language says it all. ‘Working your way up’, ‘climbing the ladder’ are ways of describing successful careers: emerging from the dank basement to the wide bright vistas atop a hierarchy.

Part two: Silence and blindness

One of the biggest traps of power is that the way that others respond to it. Most believe they get ahead by pleasing or, at least, not openly disagreeing. That means they contribute less than they might. This silence suppresses concerns; it also suppresses good ideas.

Part three: Attribution errors

To come…

Cracking the code for sustained collaboration

By Francesco Gino for the Harvard Business Review

How to give feedback with a growth-mindset approach

By Emma Briggs for the Neuroleadership Institute

We need leaders who can link local citizens with our universities

What does the new civic engagement leadership skill set look like?

By Dr Paul Gentle for Wonkhe

Interviews with leaders

Professor Leah Weiss expert in compassionate leadership, talks about why we need this now and how we can make it happen.

Tao Warburton picture

Tao Warburton talks about her experience of leading Bucks New University Students’ Union.

Lucy Butters picture

Lucy Butters on Cultural Intelligence, inclusivity and unlocking potential in every corner of HE.

Dr Paul Gentle on finding greater self-determination and agency to build a better world.

Julian Stodd picture

Julian Stodd on social leadership and how we can tap into power that’s shared, not owned.

Janet Haddock-Fraser picture

Professor Janet Haddock-Fraser on championing sustainability through leadership.

Helena Clayton picture

Helena Clayton discusses love in the context of work, and unlocking more of it in ourselves and for each other.

Professor Kamil Omoteso explains why sincerity matters, and how we can put others at the heart our leadership practice.

Louise Clifton shares what motivates her in her quest to enable higher education to build a better world.

Make your meetings a safe space for honest conversation

By Paul Axtell for the Harvard Business Review

The power of not knowing

By Louise Clifton for Invisible Grail

Leading with humility

By Daniel Goleman via Linked In

Leadership in Culturally Significant Times

Venka Purushothaman, Provost at LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore on why we need cultural leadership, now more than ever.

From A-Z: Writing that connects

Gathering together 25 insights from communications expert John Simmons, here’s how we can use writing to deepen our connections with the people that we work with, care for and lead.

Reimagined: Purposeful Leadership, now or never?

By Louise Clifton for Invisible Grail

Wearing the shoes of others

By Dr Graham Holden for Invisible Grail