The Leadership Travel Guide

The Leadership Travel Guide

is reflecting on the countless aspects of becoming better at managing people and a more effective (and liked) leader.
In January 2021, after receiving encouragement from mentees to share his leadership insights more broadly, Heiko launched a weekly newsletter of the same name. Each issue is packed with practical advice and thoughts on leadership challenges—from personal improvement and self-reflection to strategic planning and recruitment. Heiko provides first-hand guidance on what works and how it can be applied in leadership positions ranging from being an executive of a large university, running a team in a hierarchical organization, heading a small research lab, chairing a committee of peers or raising your teenage kids.

Recently, Heiko compiled his insights into a comprehensive resource, now published as "A Path to Academic Leadership: 8 Lessons to Advance Your University Career", available in print and as an eBook.

Book: A Path to Academic Leadership

InnovativeInk Publishing, 2024
ISBN 979-8765794173

Available at:

KendallHunt Publ. participates in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn small commissions by linking to Amazon.

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About the Author

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.


What Heiko's Readers Say

"Heiko, can I just say how much I enjoy reading your weekly Travel Guide. I share these with my team and ask them to give each subject their consideration."

Susan Maastricht, Director, Research Integrity and Ethics Administration, University of Sydney

"It is truly a pleasure to read your columns. Full of wisdom! I learn so much every time."

Satish Kumar, Professor & Director, Periodontics, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, AZ, USA

"Every week I read your leadership travel guide you are reading my mind!!! Always so relevant and helpful."

Emily Miller, General Manager, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), The University of Sydney

"Heiko, This weeks blog was excellent also! I’m going to apply this to my teams’ meeting schedule."

Romesh Nalliah, Clinical Professor + Associate Dean for Patient Services, University of Michigan School of Dentistry

"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."

Belinda Di Bartolo, Chief Operating Officer at LCT - Living Cell Technologies, Sydney, Australia