Universiteit Leiden

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Management | Leadership

Training programme: Leading from the middle

Middle managers and leaders play a key role in our organisation. They are the link between the operational management teams and the academic staff, and in this role they often have to deal with complex issues. After completing this course, you will have a better understanding of your role and you will understand the financial and HR tasks that you are expected to undertake.

Target group

In this course, you will learn how to be a partner to the directors and to academic staff. You will also have plenty of opportunities to exchange knowledge, experiences and advice with your colleagues and to hone your influencing skills

Target group

This course is only available for Leiden University employees:

  • Advisers and managers with functional management tasks, for example, institute managers and faculty board secretaries or controllers at central level. 
  • Those who hold a similar position or wish to progress to the role of manager.


€3,750, funded from the faculty budget.


Topics covered during this course:

Module 1:

  • Leading from the middle in Leiden’s administrative context
  • Personal leadership: Managing yourself
  • Start of the advisory assignment set by the Executive Board/HR

Module 2: Key aspects of operational management I

  • Finances and organisation
  • Advisory skills
  • Peer feedback on own cases

Module 3: Key aspects of operational management II

  • HRM and change management
  • Advisory skills: practising with actors
  • Peer feedback

Module 4: The Trusted Adviser

  • Advising the Executive Board member and the HR director
  • Evaluating teamwork
  • Personal advice


  1. Intake interview: meet one of the trainers and discuss your learning goals.
  2. Three two-day modules and a final day:
    1. Variety of working methods: brief substantive frameworks, focus on exchange of expertise, how to apply this in your own work situation and reflection.
    2. Two trainers, so that a lot of the activities can be done in two groups.
    3. Internal guest trainers and actors share their expertise.
    4. During the course, you will work on an advisory assignment from the Executive Board to contribute to strategy development.
    5. Plenty of opportunities for individual contributions, questions and peer feedback.
  3. Concludes with a one-hour individual coaching session.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • have a greater understanding of the roles of the manager/adviser: how they interact with each other, with directors and guest lecturers.
  • have more knowledge of financial, HR, organisational issues, etc.
  • be more aware of your own leadership: you will know how to operate effectively within Leiden’s administrative context in a way that suits you.
  • have further improved your advisory skills.
  • have a stronger network of colleagues in similar roles within the university.


To prepare for the course, you will be asked to discuss roles, mutual expectations and learning goals with your manager. You will also have the opportunity to contribute your own cases during the modules. You will work with fellow participants on a challenging advisory assignment for the Executive Board. You should count on an extra half-day of work per module. Finally, we will ask participants who wish to do so to share their own knowledge of and expertise in HR and finance in the form of a mini lecture. We also expect you to watch a number of short videos (microlearning) about HR, finance and the organisation, and to read a document about influencing styles.

Dates 2022

  • Intake interviews: 12 and 19 October 2022
  • Module 1: 15 and 16 November 2022, De Baak Seaside (incl. overnight stay )
  • Module 2: 19 and 20 December 2022, Plnt Leiden 
  • Module 3: 2 and 3 February 2023, Plnt Leiden 
  • Module 4: 23 February 2023, Plnt Leiden 
  • Individual coaching: To be confirmed

Dates 2023

  • Intake interviews: 21 and 22 March 2023
  • Module 1: 11 and 12 April 2023, De Baak Seaside (incl. overnight stay)
  • Module 2: 8 and 9 May 2023, Plnt Leiden 
  • Module 3: 5 and 6 June 2023, Plnt Leiden 
  • Module 4: 6 July 2023, Plnt Leiden 
  • Individual coaching: To be confirmed
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