The Leadership Difference: The New Programme for Academic Leadership and Management Development

For departmental leadership teams, Associate Deans, Heads of Department and Directors (Education, Research & Impact), the Leadership Difference aims to promote a professional and supportive leadership community and to recognise this key role in the enabling of our institutional ambitions and embedding of our values.

By the end of the programme academic leaders will:

  • Have a more consistent understanding of leadership and people management 
  • Build resilience and ability to spot signs of stress in self and others
  • Lead and manage change more effectively
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Complete more effective PDR’s
  • Reinforce University values.

Attendees will complete a Leadership 360 profile questionnaire and attend a 90 minute feedback webinar acting as a springboard into the programme for participants to:

  • Establish a link between self-awareness and effective leadership
  • Identify personal strengths and development areas.

A 1 day intensive Leadership skill development workshop will explore topics such as:

  • What makes a good/bad leader?
  • Creating a climate for well-being and performance
  • 3 core principles of leading self and others authentically
  • Balancing vision, support, and challenge
  • Powerful communication
  • Leading change with inspirational and inclusive leadership.

Academic Leaders who attend the programme, as well as those identified for the wider aspiring leaders programme, will have the chance to participate in a range of further optional support and development opportunities:

  • An Academic Leaders Seminar programme will run with TED Talk style presentations from expert speakers on key topics such as ‘Cultural competence’, ‘Workload, mental wellbeing and stress’, ‘Building a compelling vision’, ‘Leadership persona’, ‘Building an engaged workforce’, and ‘Inspirational leadership’.
  • Access to a range of development activities through the Leadership Landscape.
  • Action planning support and a 21 day habit change challenge, to reflectively embed new skills in to real world challenges.
  • Six months into the programme a follow up group ‘Momentum’ half day Workshop will run.
  • A peer mentoring scheme will be in place to support participants throughout the programme and delegates will have the opportunity to request a professional coach (subject to College funding).

How to apply:

For this pilot year People Development will be funding two cohorts, each with up to 15 places available. Applications are now being sought for the second cohort which will begin in February 2020 and will be for those identified as aspiring and emerging leaders. Attendance on this course is via a short application process and participants of the programme will need to be able to commit to:

  • Undertake a 360 degree leadership feedback survey
  • Attend a 90 minute webinar on either Tuesday 10th 10:00-11:30 or Wednesday 11th March 14:30-16:00,
  • Attend a 1 day intensive workshop on Wednesday the 18th March.  

The call for applications is now open and will close on Friday January 31st

To express your interest in attending this course please Apply Now. If you have any queries please email Janice Button (Learning and Development Manager for the Exeter Academic) at