Thursday, November 2, 2023

Hello, Leader.

There's an undeniable sense of warmth and gratitude in the air. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the many reasons we have to be thankful, not only in our personal lives but also within our leadership journey. Inside this month's leadership newsletter, you'll find insights, reflections, and valuable leadership resources designed to help you thrive in your role and positively impact your teams and the University of Iowa.


Understanding the Employee Experience

Learn to identify the gaps undermining engagement, create actionable steps to fill engagement-strategy gaps, follow through on employee feedback & engage employees at every stage of the employment life cycle, from hire to retire. By understanding the employee experience, you can boost engagement and retention while driving company-wide change.

Register for the free webinar, Fixing Your Broken Employee Engagement Strategy, from HR Daily Advisor, for discussion including:

  • identifying the gaps undermining engagement
  • creating actionable steps to fill engagement-strategy gaps
  • following through on employee feedback
  • engaging employees at every stage of the employment life cycle, from hire to retire  

 Thurs., Nov. 2, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. (Can't attend live? That's okay! RSVP now, watch on-demand later.)

People & Culture Virtual Retreat

SHRM is offering an afternoon (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.) of free virtual workshops kicking off with the keynote, "People + Talent + Culture: HR’s Vital Role in Creating a Better Workplace."

Fostering a healthy workplace culture has become a strategic initiative for all organizations seeking a competitive advantage. In an time when remote work, inclusion and diversity, and employee well-being have taken center stage, understanding how to build and maintain trust is paramount. 

Other sessions include: The Future of Hybrid Work: Championing DEI and Empowering Employees in a Virtual Environment; The Value of Trust: Creating an Exceptional Employee Experience and Performance; and Gallup Research Debut: Driving Workplace Culture by Leveraging Recognition. The full list of sessions can be found here - click on any webcast listing to view its details.

Tues., Nov. 14, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Register for A SHRM Retreat Session

Teaching in Higher Education Conference Award

If you're looking for ways to continue your development as a leader and teacher, the application deadline is approaching for the Spring 2024 Teaching in Higher Education Conference Award. The award provides up to $1,500 to faculty and staff who require support to attend a conference related to teaching in their discipline or higher education in general. Funds may be used to offset the cost of travel, hotel, or conference registration. Applications are due by Nov. 28, 2023, for conferences occurring between January - May 2024. 

Wide Lens

Whether you've been leading for years or are just beginning your leadership journey, it's important to be aware of current technology trends. The Wide Lens series gathers researchers, scholars, and artists from across the university to briefly present their work on a shared topic of interest (pecha kucha–style). Take advantage of this uniquely IOWA experience to learn, ask questions, and mix over hors d'oeuvres and drinks inside the inspiring Stanley Museum of Art.

The latest topic in the series is "Wide Lens: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: "In the last week, you’ve probably asked Google to answer questions, chatted with Siri, rocked out to a new band recommended by Spotify, or asked Chat GPT to produce a first draft of a form letter for you—reminders that our lives are already deeply entwined with artificial intelligence. The term "AI" covers a host of technologies. What connects them? Our very human ambition to create machines that can learn to solve problems. Join us for the next Wide Lens panel as experts from computer science, engineering, health care, law, language learning, ethics, and the arts share how they’re engaging with AI, which forms AI takes in their work, and what questions they’re asking about future interactions between humans and machines.

Free and open to all; no RSVP necessary.

Thurs., Nov. 30, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Stanley Museum of Art


The Office of the Vice President & Provost offers workshops throughout the year specifically tailored to DEOs, whether early, mid or senior career faculty. For further details on these and future topics, visit

Creating an Inclusive and Welcoming Environment for Faculty and Staff

Understanding the role of the DEO in developing a welcoming and inclusive culture.
Weds., Nov. 8, 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m., Zoom

Faculty Time Management

Faculty of all ranks and tracks are eligible to join the Time Management workshop, which will help attendees learn about project and task lists, find time for high priority work, and discover the value in planning your day. Tues., Nov. 14, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m., Zoom


This year's National First-Generation College Celebration Week (November 6th - 10th) culminates with the 1stGen@Iowa Awards and Recognition Ceremony. All University of Iowa students, faculty, and staff are invited to the event, and this year's keynote address will be given by Maureen Schafer, Assistant Provost and Director of the University of Iowa Academic Advising Center, and UI Executive Leadership Academy Higher Ed Alumni.

Thurs., Nov. 9, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m., IMU International Ballroom


How to Be a Good Mentor and Mentee

Mentor and mentee relationships are invaluable to leaders as they offer a dynamic platform for knowledge exchange, personal growth, and the cultivation of future leadership talent. In this THE (Times Higher Ed) podcast, contributors from across the globe offer their top tips on how to be a good mentor and mentee, and how to make these critical relationships work for everyone involved. These relationships can make or break academic careers, so getting them right is crucial. Hear suggestions on how to choose a mentor or supervisor, how to give advice, how to do reverse mentoring and how to lay the ground rules so that everyone gets what they need from these relationships. Listen to this podcast anytime on SpotifyApple podcasts or Google podcasts.


Which would you say you lead with most often, your head or your heart?  I recently read the article, A Scientific Approach to Leading with Both Head and Heart. According to the article, 52 percent lead with their heart and 48 percent lead with their head.

The study asked random participants to answer some general knowledge questions while they placed their hand over their heart or on their head. Surprisingly, the physical act of where they placed their hand played a part in how the questions were answered. "Those who put their hands on their heads saw improved intellectual problem solving. The people who held their hands over the hearts while they answered the questions placed more emphasis on emotional factors in their decision-making."

Researcher Kirstin Ferguson's consensus is that the best leaders know how and when to best lead with their heads and hearts. By using curiosity, wisdom, perspective, and capability as "head-based" attributes; and humility, self-awareness, courage, and empathy as "heart-based" attributes, Ferguson extrapolated 4 leadership traits incorporating all 8 of those individual heart- and head-based attributes: 

perspective which "when utilized and developed, allows you to be an empathetic leader who is also capable and self-aware"...

awareness of your limitations "means you are more likely to be curious about other answers, humble about your inability to know everything and self-aware of your abilities"...

being willing to challenge what they thought they knew showed a leader more likely to be courageous with high levels of empathy, and...

being open to the ideas of others shows a likelihood of "also having high levels of perspective, empathy and curiosity."

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