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Behaviours for effective leadership

Use this framework, developed with Bath academics, to evaluate your current behaviours and potential for future growth in the leadership side of your role.


The Leadership Behaviours Framework

Leadership is one of the three pillars of academic activity that the University of Bath recognises in its career progression framework, because leaders are needed at all levels across the academic population.

Leadership and the potential to be a successful leader are defined by behaviours, and the same set of behaviours are associated with effectiveness across diverse sectors.

Our Leadership Behaviours Framework was developed through a series of conversations with groups of experienced academic leaders, exploring what effective leaders were observed to be doing in an academic setting. They are practical but align strongly with the research literature on effective leadership.

These behaviours can be seen at all stages of a person’s career, in response to the particular context at the time. For example, a lecturer who has to devise and deliver a new taught programme will use the same decision-making process and social skills − connecting with colleagues and working with integrity and resilience − as a Vice-Chancellor planning a long-term strategic alliance.

Use the framework to reflect on your own leadership behaviours, noting evidence of how you display them in your academic work. Think about:

  • what are your areas of strength that you can build on to take on more challenging and rewarding roles and projects?

  • how might you develop in those areas where you need to, what opportunities will you seek out to grow your leadership and how will you get support to consciously develop appropriate behaviours?

  • how will you provide evidence of impactful leadership behaviour for promotion bids and job applications? It isn’t about what jobs you do but what impact you had, so how will you link your behaviours to the outcomes for which you claim credit?

Related online learning and resources

Access online resources to understand more about the leadership behaviours and related research, such as:

University of Bath leadership behaviours

What science says about identifying high-potential employees (online article)

Career progression for Education and Research staff


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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