Dr. Daniel Doz, President & CEO at Alberta University of the Arts, shares his unique perspective on leadership and the challenges of leading an institution dedicated to creativity. From the importance of long-term vision to the need for a balanced approach, Dr. Doz offers valuable insights into the art of leadership.

Key Takeaways

  • Balancing short-term goals with long-term vision is a crucial aspect of leadership.
  • Success is measured not only by immediate results but also by the impact on the institution in the long run.
  • The culture of immediacy can hinder the ability to think long-term and appreciate the positive aspects of the present.

The Challenge of Balancing Short-Term Goals and Long-Term Vision

Dr. Doz emphasizes the importance of balancing short-term goals with long-term vision in leadership. He acknowledges that short-term goals often require reactive decision-making, while long-term vision requires patience and resilience. He believes that success lies in being able to put short-term activities in the context of long-term goals, ensuring that they contribute to the overall vision of the institution.

Dr. Doz also highlights the challenge of managing the expectations of various stakeholders, including government funding bodies and politicians. While their focus may be on short-term results, he emphasizes the need to think long-term and make decisions that will benefit the institution in the future.

He states, “I look at things 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, even though I won’t be there… It takes a long time to move things, especially in an academic environment. And it’s not a negative statement. It’s just the way it is because we’re dealing with so many different stakeholders.”

The Three Elements of a Healthy Community: Economic, Social, and Cultural Prosperity

Dr. Doz believes that a healthy community requires a balance of economic, social, and cultural prosperity. He emphasizes the importance of not only contributing to economic prosperity through the creative industries but also addressing social and cultural aspects.

He explains, “You can’t just have financial, economic prosperity. You need social prosperity because part of a society is to protect its own people… You need cultural prosperity because that’s about the identity of a place. And I think it’s really important. And my argument is that cannot exist without the other two.”

Dr. Doz proudly highlights the role of Alberta University of the Arts in contributing to all three elements of a healthy community. The institution not only employs a significant number of artists in Calgary but also nurtures a diverse student population. Through their creative output, the university and its alumni contribute to the cultural wealth of the region.

The Importance of Passion and Curiosity in Leadership

Dr. Doz attributes his success as a leader to his passion for learning and his curiosity about the world. He sees his role as an opportunity to interact with a variety of individuals and activities, which keeps him engaged and motivated.

He states, “I come to work to learn… I love to learn. And every day when I come to work, I come to work to learn, actually.”

Dr. Doz believes that leaders must find that sliver of interest and fascination in their day-to-day work. He acknowledges the challenges and pressures of leadership but emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive outlook and finding enrichment in the work.


Dr. Daniel Doz offers valuable insights into the art of leadership, emphasizing the need to balance short-term goals with long-term vision. He highlights the importance of economic, social, and cultural prosperity in building a healthy community. Dr. Doz also emphasizes the role of passion and curiosity in leadership, encouraging leaders to find joy and enrichment in their work.

As we navigate the challenges of leadership, let us remember the importance of thinking beyond the immediate and embracing the opportunities for growth and positive impact in the long run. By doing so, we can create a future that is not only successful but also sustainable and enriching for all.

Want more leadership tips & advice?

I interviewed to 80+ Calgary business leaders and put together their best advice on becoming a better leader.

Get my Free Copy

Leave a Reply

3 × three =