Universities in China have faced great challenges in the past decade, such as challenges driven by globalization and technological progress. This requires leaders to meet the challenge of change. Little has been written from the perspective of educational leadership in Chinese higher education institutions (HEIs). This study aims to explore academic members’ perceptions of educational leadership and to explore factors contributing to the professional learning and growth of academic members in Chinese HEIs. Through a qualitative study, we explored the perceptions of 12 academic members from eight Chinese universities. The results provide us with a comprehensive conceptualized educational leadership, perceived effective educational leadership, and perceived need for capacity building. The results can be helpful to support sustainable professional development and also for administrators, universities, and policymakers in China in creating the environment and policies that facilitate the implementation of successful educational leadership experiences.