One of the most difficult things to learn – and one of the last things we ever learn about ourselves – is the personal impact we have on those around us.

Which begs the question: how should you begin a new university leadership role? Or indeed refresh your existing one? What sort of personal example should you set – in the way you conduct yourself; the style, tone and manner you set in managing day-to-day affairs; the ways in which you support colleagues, handle meetings, make decisions, resolve conflict, establish standards and so on?

Self-reflection on leadership is typically not practised in higher education to the same extent as elsewhere – to be an effective university manager however requires that you do give serious consideration to these issues in a deliberative, reflective and self-conscious way.

This chapter seeks to help you do that by systematically examining these particular ‘public’ aspects of your role: your preparedness (self-awareness; emotional intelligence; susceptibility to cognitive bias; image; mind-set; approach to leadership), your first hundred days, the chairing of meetings, the making and taking of decisions, the handling of conflict and the building of teams.