Final Reflections on Resilience, Relaxation and Growth
In closing, this chapter has reflected on my experiences in academia - my continual battle to maintain an appropriate work-life balance, the importance of resilience and a learning, growth mindset, what I am learning from contemporary leadership literature, as well as some practical tips for managing stress, aiming for a work-life balance (or integration) and approaching difficult conversations. The challenge of academia, as others have described, is that it is at least three jobs in one - being an educator, researcher and administrator. To survive and thrive, each of us must identify our unique strengths, and being passionate, resilient and brave enough to simply keep trying. Like Brown (2018), I too want to look back on my life and say “I contributed more than I criticized” (p. 259) and I entered the arena and risked getting a little dirt and blood on my face.
However, sustaining our career passion requires resilience and a focus on rest and rejuvenation. We must preserve our unique “life juice—your creativity and daring, your curiosity and eagerness to question, your compassion and love for people—can seep away daily as you get beat up, put down, or silenced” (Heifetz and Linsky, 2017, p. 225). And so, I end this chapter with a challenge: I challenge you to pick something from one of the chapters in this book to experiment with - whether it is setting up a promotion club in your own department, reading a leadership book that intrigues you, prioritising your health and wellness by “boxing yourself in” to a weekly art class next semester, or trialling the DEAR MAN acronym, please take one purposeful step towards a more balanced, resilient and happier academic life.
Blackler. A. (2021). Research leadership: Local and global. In A. Blackler & E. Miller (Eds), How to Be a Design Academic.
Brown, B. (2015). Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Avery.
Brown, B. (2018). Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Vermilion.
Chamorro-Koc, M. & Caldwell, G. (2021). Running the academic marathon: Planning and executing as planned. In A. Blackler & E. Miller (Eds), How to Be a Design Academic.
Clark, A. & Sousa, B. (2018). How to Be a Happy Academic: A Guide to Being Effective in Research, Writing and Teaching. Sage.
Dalio, R. (2017). Principles. Simon & Schuster.
De Vos, A., Van der Heijden, B. & Akkermans, J. (2019). Sustainable careers: Towards a conceptual model. Journal of Vocational Behavior. Advance online publication.
Drucker, P. (2005). Managing oneself. Harvard Business Review, January, 100-109.
Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Scribner/Simon & Schuster.
Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House.
Ellison, R. (2019). Global Leadership and Coaching: Flourishing under Intense Pressure at Work. Routledge.
Foth, M. & Rittenbruch, M. (2021). Building a research group. In T. Blackler, & E. Miller (Eds), How to Be a Design Academic.
Gabriel, Y. (2010). Organizational studies: A space for ideas, identities and agonies. Organizational Studies, 31(6), 757-775.
Goffee, R. & Jones, G. (2000). Why should anyone be led by you? Harvard Business Review, September-October, 63-67.
Goffee. R. & Jones, G. (2015). Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? What It Takes to Be an Authentic Leader. Harvard Business Review Press.
Gorczynski, P.F., Hill, D. & Rathod, S. (2017). Examining the construct validity of the trans- theoretical model to structure workplace physical activity interventions to improve mental health in academic staff. EMS Community Medicine Journal, (I), 1-4.
Heifetz, R. & Linsky, M. (2017). Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Change. Harvard Business School Press.
Hume, K. (2010). Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt: Advice for Humanities PhDs. Palgrave Macmillan.
Kelsky, K. (2015). The Professor is in: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job. Three River Press.
Kolb, D.A. (2015). Experiential Learning: Experience as a Source of Learning and Development. Pearson.
Linehan. M. (2014). DBT Skills Training Manual, 2nd ed. Footprint.
Scharoun, L. & Muratovski, G. (2021). Leadership of a design school. In A. Blackler & E. Miller (Eds), How to Be a Design Academic.
Stefan, M. (2010). A CV of failures. Nature, 468, 467.
Swan, L. & Rezayan, L. (2021). Exploring the mindset of a new academic. In A. Blackler & E. Miller (Eds), How to Be a Design Academic.
Worsley, P. (2008). An Academic Skating on Thin Ice. Berghahn Books.