The privilege of trust

It is a fundamental challenge of our time to repurpose what we now need from leaders and from leadership. We traditionally describe leadership in terms of power. In politics we talk of the political parties being “in power”. Power is also “wielded” and more often than not aggressive, crude and violent images are appropriated by… More

Care to lead

A little boy walked to school every day praying there would not be a reading test. His teacher would ask children to read a paragraph to the whole class, three or four children each day. Each day the little boy woke up thinking about being asked and being terrified. What if the words didn’t make… More

A conversation with the President of the United States

The President of the United States is not someone I know personally and I suspect that most people who may read this do not know him personally either. However I wonder what we would say to him if we had just five minutes in his company? Would we make awkward small talk, trying not to… More

The efficiency myth – a few words

There are more gyms, more personal trainers, more diets and more health foods than ever before and yet in the course of human history we are fatter by far than ever before. While we are therefore overwhelmingly, cheerfully and passionately provided with every possible solution to lose weight, to be fitter and healthier, self-evidently our… More

A few words about rubbish meetings

In every meeting there ever was, a room is occupied by a spectrum of talents, ambitions, insights and energy. There will often be literally decades of experience and learning, fabulous achievements and perceptions unique to every individual. It is a rich tapestry of ingenuity, concern, courage and trepidation. It is almost certainly a repository of… More

Am I a leader?

From Chief Executive to minimum-wage-contract-cleaner I see leadership potential in everyone every day. It is never about job role or hierarchy, but always about how we are with the people around us and the small differences we feel empowered to make. Here are ten questions to help you encourage leadership in everyone and to hold… More

The personal assistant’s tale

In the telling of this story the names are changed to protect the author.  The General Counsel’s personal assistant meets me in reception. “Hi Paul, lovely to see you again; John will be just a few minutes, he’s on a call, but I’ll show you to your meeting room.” We walk along the corridor chatting… More

Part 1 – We must change the way we feel about leadership

At the ripening age of 55 I have spent a great deal of time in the last 25 years either in leadership roles or helping people to fulfil their potential in leadership roles. It doesn’t mean I have a better perspective than anyone else, but I am confident in the perspective I have. For the… More

Part 2: What should be the purpose of leadership today?

We all have a sense of what a leader is – perhaps a parent, a teacher, a police officer, a boss, a politician; but in our still male orientated world a leader is likely to be “strong” and “decisive”. Often they will be described as “ruthless”. It is quite hard not to feel excluded from… More

Part 3: What do we each have to do to make our leadership contribution?

Our leadership contribution is indelibly entwined with our leadership purpose and must be something that we can measure to be credible. In the next post I will describe how we can measure our contribution, but in this post I want to talk about how we actually go about making our contribution. When the selection process… More