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I hope reading
7 Questions with Nathan Eva
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Nathan Eva
Name: Nathan Eva
Current title: Senior Lecturer
Current organisation: Monash Business School
Dr Nathan Eva is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management at the Monash Business School. His research focuses on changing the conversation with respect to how people lead within organisations, by challenging dominant ego-centric leadership paradigms using the servant leadership framework. His work demonstrates that inclusive approaches to leadership have more profound and lasting effects on follower and organisational in-role and extra-role behaviours, than dominant paradigms of ego-centric leadership.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader in the education sector?
Balancing being there for my students and protecting my own time and wellbeing. We are asked a lot of as educators, and it is hard at times know where the line is.
2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Working from home now (covid) so usually a quick check of twitter - breakfast and tea while checking emails that have come through overnight. Morning will usually be spent focusing on research with any teaching and meeting commitments in the afternoon. Late afternoon is sport of some kind (at the moment cricket) and at night, my wife and I will usually watch a movie.
3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
To ask more meaningful questions of students when I am getting to know them. One student this week told me that they usually don't speak until week 3 in class as it gives them enough time to understand others and their own opinions in the class. I thought that this was quite interesting and something that I should be asking my students - when and where do you feel comfortable sharing / speaking. These sort of questions can help open up teaching much more.
4. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Recently, I've been reading A Promised Land by President Obama. It is the humility that President Obama shows throughout the book, willing to lean on others with more experience, speak about the luck he has been granted, and where he has had privilege. It has just reminded me about what makes great leaders - compassion, humility, willingness to bring people together. If a President can demonstrate humility and compassion, we all can.
5. How do you find and keep great leaders in the education sector?
They are not hard to find, they are everywhere. Often working in the hardest conditions. How you keep them? That is the $64,000 question. Support, recognition, and opportunity will go a long way.
6. What's most important as a leader in the education sector for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?
Leading from the front. If you are trying to be all things to all people, working around the clock and burning out, this is the sort of culture you will perpetuate. You cannot give from an empty cup, so looking after yourself, being seen publicly looking after yourself (e.g., being honest in your out of office email), and then encouraging others to do the same. We know what to do, we just need to do it.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader in the education sector so far?
I think we all have personal stories that we keep close to our chest. Publically, it is the stories of how someone from your class goes on to do something great based on a lesson that you taught. For me, it was a student who went and set up a teaching hospital in The Philippines. It always surprises me how the little things that we do and say and how students go and run with it.