The Martini Diaries – Episode 2

In which I re-discover classic 1980s American mystery TV, attend the Georgia National Day Reception as guest of their Ambassador to the UK, review ‘ What If’ on Netflix, add two new knitted silk ties to my growing collection, finally finish and review 2 Churchill biographies (and the latest Jeffrey Archer thriller), and discover the Milanese Gin and Tonic.

Monday May 27th 2019

Over the weekend I ordered a DVD box set of 22 episodes from the final season of the American TV series ‘Hart to Hart’. They arrived today, and my wife and I have just spent a very pleasant 45 minutes watching the first episode.Continue reading “The Martini Diaries – Episode 2”

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”

Managing busyness – look back for inspiration

I have been recently extensively reading on the subject of time management and have come across two quotations, both in excess of 150 years old, which seem as timeless and relevant today as when they were first produced. I believe it was Winston Churchill who once said “to be able to look forward we must first look back”.
The first quote is from Robert E. Lee, a famous general in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. He was quoted as saying “I cannot trust a man to control others, who cannot control himself.”

Continue reading “Managing busyness – look back for inspiration”

At what point in a crisis does a leader have to make the decision to resign?

I can still remember with some vividety the Falklands War of 1982. I was in my very early twenties when it happened. I recall the shock, the chaos, the emerging pride in the armed forces as a task force was assembled with incredible speed, and then the tension of the next few months until the war was over and then a feeling that the United Kingdom had become great again. What I also remember very clearly is the resignation of the Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, which happened within days of the invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina. I have been reflecting on this swift, very high profile, resignation over the past few days, particularly in light of the Grenfell Tower block fire and tragedy.Continue reading “At what point in a crisis does a leader have to make the decision to resign?”