The Myth of the Heroic Leader

When Mackenzie and Jeff Bezos divorced last year speculation was rife as to how much Mackenzie would receive out of an estimated $136bn fortune. In an excellent article at the time, Louise Matsakis,[1] challenged the hype about Mackenzie ‘becoming’ the richest woman in the world because, as half of the richest couple on earth, she…

Why Learning Organisations Fail

The literature on contemporary leadership and management is brimming with exhortations to learn and adapt. Laudable as this approach is, however, it is often flawed. First, in both business and public service, it is often based on an oversimplified understanding of learning, which confuses learning with training, ignoring the distinct value of education. Second, education…

Leadership When Hierarchy Fails

Two seemingly unrelated stories have struck me over the past month: the continuing saga of the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal and the publication of the report into the Grenfell Fire commissioned by Muslim Aid. For me, the thread connecting them is the threat and the opportunity posed to hierarchies in an increasingly complex and…

Understanding Your Business

Whether you are taking on your first role as a manager, swatting up for a management position interview in a new business, or making the move from functional to general management, you will need to demonstrate that you understand the wider concerns of the business. As well as dealing with the day to day issues…