There were four questions emerging from LEADING FROM THE SIDE that leaders wanted us to explore further:
1. Where do leaders get their energy from? Why are the toughest, most frightening times so
thrilling and confidence-building? Is fun important?
2. What should be the balance between an inward focus on what is happening in the
organisation and an outward one looking at the world? How far should leaders go
‘inward’ with people?
3. Had we put on rose-tinted spectacles in writing the report? Given the focus is on good
leadership, what does bad leadership look like, and what can we learn from it?
4. We were challenged to explore in depth male versus female leadership. Do genderbased differences underly best practice, and if so, is there a ‘best of both’ model that
everyone can learn from? Or are women and men different – end of story?
We changed our panel to equal numbers of male and female CEOs (25 of each). 45 of the 50
were not interviewed for Leading From The Side, so they were new to us and to this project. We asked our interviewees about their experience of women and leadership, what the future of
leadership should be in terms of gender, why that future is desirable, and how that future could
be made real.
We remain convinced that Leading From The Side is the big trend in modern leadership. This
investigation builds on our findings to demonstrate how leaders depend on and strengthen their
This is Leading From Within.
This is the management summary of the six sections of the report:
1. Tremble Moments
Bad leadership makes other people tremble. Whilst good organisations don’t
tolerate such bullying, its drivers still exist. Good leadership makes use of the
leader’s own trembles to make the right decisions in uncertain circumstances.
2. The Fun of It
Fun is strategically important. The best leaders prize fun because it drives
creativity and loyalty. Customers are more likely to buy from people with smiles
on their faces. Spread happiness and the numbers will follow.
It’s hard for leaders to develop personal relationships with staff at all levels. But it’s
never been more important. Having personal values in harmony with organisational
values makes communication with staff more effective. So does keeping it simple.
4. Being Out There
Leaders need to spend most of their time thinking about the outside world. The best
leaders are idea-thieves, adopting thinking and practices from anywhere that might.
improve their businesses. Leaders need to get out more.
5. Are Female and Male Leaders Different?
An ideal leadership team will be a balance of men and women because of the things
that differentiate male and female leaders. The future of leadership will belong to
women and to men who think more like them – and we need to think beyond gender.
6. Leading From Within
Making sense of ambiguity. Challenging bad leadership. Valuing fun. Building
one-to-one relationships. Exploiting individual difference. Thinking more fluidly
To lead from within you need to get out more.
Download the full report by filling in the short form below: