The Martini Diaries – Episode 8

In which I return to work after my summer holiday, travel immediately to Rwanda, discover Rwanda is the safest country in Africa, visit the Genocide Museum, fly with Qatar Airways for the first time, bemoan the lack of respect in our society, discover I am now a male model for Italian clothing, enjoy the annual luncheon at my Club (and work out how to solve Brexit), have to wake up too early in the morning without my morning Royal Blend Tea (and miss my train as a result), and make a plea for a return to understatement in our language. Continue reading “The Martini Diaries – Episode 8”

The Martini Diaries – Episode 5

In a slightly extended episode I welcome the croquet season, despair at my increasing weight having returned to the gym, fail to follow or understand a briefing on what constitutes ‘fake news’, travel to Kenya for the first time, experience British Airways First Class, deliver some lectures on leadership in Kenya, experience my first safari, and enjoy the best sleep ever on an aircraft.

Continue reading “The Martini Diaries – Episode 5”

Why some people fail in their attempts at leadership. 

The recent resignation of the UK Prime Minister, and now the scramble of ‘leadership’ hopefuls to replace her, has led me to consider (again) why some people fail in their attempts at leadership. 

There is a conceptual model sometimes known as ‘leadership in action’, but I prefer to call it the ‘leadership loop’, which can help us to understand these failures.

This model is therefore principally focused on establishing a ‘future’ and then delivering that future. The leader is showing the ‘followers’ that what they want is achievable and that the leader is able to effectively lead them in the delivery of it – in other words the leader has created ‘a compelling vision’ – that sense of where the leader is going. Continue reading “Why some people fail in their attempts at leadership. “

Women and Leadership – the basics are the same for men and women

On 8 March 2019 I was honoured to deliver a talk at the University of Leeds on the subject of women and leadership. The event was part of a day of celebrations for International Women’s Day. I have set out below a precis of my speech.

Introduction. 

I am going to start with an idea, a personal view, and that is, based on my life experience and career so far, there is no difference in the skills needed to succeed in leadership for women than there is for men. This unshakable belief has been with me for the past 30 Continue reading “Women and Leadership – the basics are the same for men and women”

CEO of the Year

I was delighted, honoured, and humbled, to be recognised by CEO Today magazine as the UK CEO of the Year (Life Sciences) for 2018. Looking through the magazine at the many other individuals who received awards made me realise what a fabulous country we live in – the depth of talent in leadership, entrepreneurship, vision and talent across all sectors is extraordinary. I am left with a strong sense that we have nothing to fear from Brexit – the CEOs will make it happen (whatever is required from deal or no deal), regardless of the political outcome.

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Thoughts on Moral Courage

There has been much talk recently, particularly in relation to the modern day Parliamentarian, about courage in relation to leadership. Comparisons, fair or otherwise, are often drawn between now and other moments in history of great challenges and the lack of courage now being displayed.

I recently spoke at a conference in Ethiopia on the subject of ‘Ethical Leadership’.

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I concluded with these thoughts on moral courage, which I thought, with current events in mind, I would share:

You might be uncomfortable at times as an ethical leader – but no one has ever said leadership is easy. However, situations demanding strong ethical behaviour can teach us to trust ourselves and our instincts. If you calm your anxiety and look logically at the situation facing you, your instincts will often guide you in the right direction – what I prefer to call that most elusive of leadership qualities – ‘grace under pressure’ (Ernest Hemingway)

Continue reading “Thoughts on Moral Courage”