My Edu Alliance Journal Article on Academic Leadership

I issue weekly (more or less) GBH Blog Posts on Nature-Inspired Life and Living. However, I still dabble in the arena where I operated for two decades prior to retiring: Higher Education Leadership. I conducted an August 2019 Academic Leadership workshop for VPs, Deans, Directors, and Chairs at Kimep University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. I developed an article, Best Practices — My Trip to Kazakhstan Confirmed Academic Leadership Principles are Global, published February 24, 2020 in Edu Alliance Journal.

Here is the link to the journal article: https://edualliancegroup.blog/2020/02/24/best-practices-my-trip-to-kazakhstan-confirmed-academic-leadership-principles-are-global/

You may recall that I published two GBH Posts from my associated visit to three Kazakhstan National Parks:

  • https://stevejonesgbh.com/2019/09/10/three-national-parks-in-kazakhstan-an-august-immersion/
  • https://stevejonesgbh.com/2019/10/08/eleven-time-zones-apart-yet-oh-so-familiar/

I will never forget my visit with faculty, staff, and administrators at Kimep University and my tour of the three Parks. I found the experience enriching in many dimensions. I’ll transition to my Summary Reflections from the article with three photos from the spectacular Kolsai Lakes National Park in Kazakhstan’s Tian Shan Mountains.



Summary Reflections

From the article:

I accepted my Kimep University assignment with trepidation, to no small extent fearing that I could offer little to a university in a country I had never visited. Yet, I found fulfillment, exhilaration, and satisfaction in my week on-site. My experience in US-based academic leadership prepared me well for my Central Asia venture. I hope in retrospect that I offered as much as I learned. I am convinced that Kimep is in good senior executive hands. I urged the senior team to accept and embrace the identified strategic imperatives. I’d welcome a chance to return in 2021 to monitor progress and offer continued assistance.

I learned that Kimep University and the institutions of my immediate experience are far more alike than different. All aspire to survive and thrive. All are constrained or empowered by the same basic imperatives. No other factor in the future equation for sustained success (or ultimate failure) is weighted more heavily than leadership.

As universities here in the US (or globally) deal with turbulent seas, these same leadership principles and strategic imperatives will determine, in large part, whether the institution sinks, frantically treads water, or sails smoothly forward. Some will submerge; others will continue flailing. Those with competent leaders have the best chance of hoisting the sails, catching the breeze, and making it to the desired port. Competent leaders are those who embrace these core principles and pursue strategic imperatives… as they work closely with faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders.


Reminder of my Personal and Professional Purpose, Passion, and Cause

If only more of us viewed our precious environment through the filters I employ. If only my mission and vision could be multiplied untold orders of magnitude:

Mission: Employ writing and speaking to educate, inspire, and enable readers and listeners to understand, appreciate, and enjoy Nature… and accept and practice Earth Stewardship.


  • People of all ages will pay greater attention to and engage more regularly with Nature… and will accept and practice informed and responsible Earth Stewardship.
  • They will see their relationship to our natural world with new eyes… and will understand more clearly their Earth home.

Tagline/Motto: Steve (Great Blue Heron) encourages and seeks a better tomorrow through Nature-Inspired Living!


Steve’s Three Books

Nature Based Leadership, my first book, contends that every lesson for leading, living, serving, and learning is either written indelibly in or is compelling inspired by Nature. With Nature-Inspired Learning and Leading, I extend my lessons to elements of life and living beyond leadership. I based both books on my own palpable experiences in Nature and the leadership positions I’ve held over a fulfilling career in higher education and the paper and allied products manufacturing industry.

Steve's Books



All three of my books (Nature Based Leadership; Nature-Inspired Learning and Leading; Weaned Seals and Snowy Summits) present compilations of personal experiences expressing my (and co-author Dr. Wilhoit for Weaned Seals and Snowy Summits) deep passion for Nature. All three books offer observations and reflections on my relationship to the natural world… and the broader implications for society. Order any and all from your local indie bookstore, or find them on IndieBound or other online sources such as Amazon and LifeRich.