People who have had very successful careers in corporations frequently underestimate how much they have to change their style to be effective in academic and other non-for-profit sectors. Here is a illumnating quote from Donna Shillalah who was quite effective in the government sector but found academia much more challenging.
“Everybody thinks university presidents are hierarchical and top-down,” said Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami, and a former president of the University of Wisconsin and secretary of health and human services. “But we are not corporate chieftains, and we cannot rule from the sky. We are more like tugboat captains, trying to get our ships aligned and pulling them in the right direction.”
The great research universities, she said, have achieved their dominant position in the world through shared faculty governance, and leaving faculty both academic and research freedom.
“It was a lot easier to run a cabinet department than the University of Wisconsin,” Ms. Shalala said. “There are a lot of different constituencies at a university, and the president cannot be successful without buy-in from all of them.”
Souce: NY Times