The Leadership Travel Guide reflects on the countless aspects of becoming better at managing people and a more effective (and liked) leader. It provides first-hand guidance on what works and how it can be applied in leadership positions ranging from being the executive of a large company, running a team in a hierarchical organization, heading a small research lab, chairing a committee of peers, raising your teenage kids, or just leading yourself—arguably the most important leadership task.
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When I was 19 years old, I took on my first, forced upon me, leadership position—in the most inefficient, useless and ultimately doomed organization imaginable, the East German military. I have learned a lot about what doesn’t work. All changed for me when the Berlin Wall fell, literally 50 meters away from where I studied dentistry in Berlin, allowing me to thrive from thereon.
Now three decades later, I have worked on three continents in various leadership positions ranging from commercial enterprises to academia providing me with a modest appreciation of the differences and the similarities of various roles, cultures and industries. Always being positioned at the intersection of health and technology connected me with the vastly different world views of entrepreneurs in the technology, medical doctors in private practice, researchers at universities, health policy makers in government and educators in the academe.
Based on this vast experience, I started informally sharing my own lessons learned on leadership with mentees, colleagues and other leaders. Eventually, I was asked to give speeches and seminars on the topic. Encouraged by feedback from attendees of seminars, my mentees and former and current students, I have started the weekly Leadership Travel Guide Newsletter on the essentials that have guided me on my journey.
The Leadership Travel Guide Newsletter provides first-hand guidance on what works and how it can be applied in leadership positions ranging from being the executive of a large company, running a team in a hierarchical organization, heading a small research lab, chairing a committee of peers, raising your teenage kids, or just leading yourself—arguably the most important leadership task.
Thanks for reading.
Heiko Spallek is known for his transparent and helpful approach to leadership. Growing up in East Berlin, as son of an upholsterer and a seamstress, he was the first in his family to enter university. His career and education span many realms, from leading 80 recruits at a construction site in the East German military, studying dentistry at one of the oldest universities in Europe and computer science at one of the new business schools in North America, being the chief investigator on US-federally funded research grants, building a multi-national tech company with his wife during the hay days of the Internet, serving on boards of start-up companies, and finally moving to Australia where he heads a dental school with close to thousand staff and students. He has experienced societal changes, touched different cultures and domains and connected with thousands of people when leading large organizations or being on stage as keynote speaker.
His leadership lessons have been embraced by his various audiences who also provided ample feedback that has shaped his own approach to inclusive leadership. Heiko has a deep appreciation for different viewpoints which, he believes, is at the core of effective leadership. His computer and information science expertise has shaped his love for data as a basis for decision making instead of opinions.
"Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed and learned."
President and CEO, ICE Health Systems, Calgary, Canada
"Heiko has really inspired me to reflect on who I am, what I want to be and where I see myself. Using the different strategies particularly the signature strengths analysis I was able to really identify the right path for my ongoing leadership development. Heiko has been amazing and really opened my eyes to my surroundings and the best way to make all my current circumstances work for me instead of, as I perceived - against me."
Researcher, Kolling Institute, Sydney, Australia
"I’d be delighted to subscribe. The timing is perfect as I am moving more into Leadership roles."
Head of Department of Dental Surgery, Cork University, Cork, Ireland
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