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. “

The Martini Diaries – Episode 1.

In which I ponder my fluctuating weight, the dangers of throw away fashion, my first visit to Metro Bank, and finding out I am a micro style influencer.

Sunday 19 May 2019

I foolishly began today by studying my Fitbit app and looking at my bodyweight. I started monitoring it on 26 November 2018 when I calculated that for a man of my age (57) and height/build (5ft 10”) I was 16 lbs overweight. The good news is that since that time, based on my weight this morning, I have lost 4 pounds. Continue reading “The Martini Diaries – Episode 1.”

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.

Continue reading “CEO of the Year”

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”

Thoughts on achieving more by working less

Whilst preparing my annual report to the board of trustees and referring back to my previous year’s report my first reaction is that I seem to have achieved more in 2016 than I managed in 2015. In some respects this would be a logical outcome based on 2016 being my second full year in this CEO role, and a direct result of becoming more familiar with my tasks. However, my diary tends to tell a different story in that the number of hours I seem to be committing to the task of being CEO has significantly declined. Continue reading “Thoughts on achieving more by working less”

How did I land up in a ‘hipster’ magazine?

Last summer my blogging colleague the Grey Fox contacted me to say a talented local photographer in London called Chris Aadland was looking for subjects for an upcoming magazine article called “Men and their dogs’ – would I be interested in being photographed? This would be a first – I have never been professionally photographed.

I made an appointment to meet with Chris at the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, across the road from my Club in Piccadilly. It did not take long to learn how I must “keep my chin up”, smile (endlessly), look relaxed (whilst being concerned about how I appeared!). However, my aged dog Oscar did not share in this new found skill set – he simply refused to look at the camera. Easily distracted by everything (Oscar is recovering from a stroke, has no teeth left following a gum infection, is 15 years old and deaf!), the longer the shoot took the more tourists kept stopping to take photographs and added to the distractions for Oscar. We tried standing, crouching, even me holding Oscar like a baby in my arms. Then, after countless images (and the heat of June getting to me) Oscar finally turned to look at the camera and voila – an image to keep! Continue reading “How did I land up in a ‘hipster’ magazine?”