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The Journey to Leadership3: Recent and Selected Archive Posts

January 2024

Vector Image of Post Office with Label “Closed: Pending Prosecution}.

The Ignominious disgrace of public leadership in the UK Post Office

Reflecting on the lessons of why some seemingly excellent institutions' leaders turn evil The recent ITV series "Mr Bates vs the Post Office" has shed light on the problem of toxic leadership at the highest levels of the UK Post Office. But is it just the Post Office, or does it illustrate how insensitive the Government...

November 2023

Exploring Applied Leadership Challenge Spaces

Why do we need a Leadership Space? I have often stood on the shoulders of Giants in developing both my thinking and practice of leadership.  Aristotle is. the earliest and one of the most paramount of those Giants. I often paraphrase the classic thoughts of Aristotle in his various writings on leadership as. TO DO the right...

October 2023


  I had been musing about why it was so difficult to “do” collective leadership when its benefits were so evident. My epiphany came just after I had joined Manchester Business School in 2006 when I saw Richard Dawkins’ 30th Anniversary edition of "The Selfish Gene". Having purchased and devoured it, I realised it is because...

September 2023

Adaptability and Split Second Decisions

Adaptability and Split-Second Decision Making The purpose of my Sunday roast is to provide “Relevant, Objective Analyses of Strategic and Tactical Leadership Challenges“. I initially intended to explain more about my ‘Roasts’ and follow my theme of adaptability, which was the foundation of my inaugural Friday “early doors“ newsletter on Friday. However, the morning of Saturday,...

Adaptability and Flexibilty as similar concepts

Bouncebackability encapsulates Adaptability, Flexibility and Resilience perfectly!

Failure can often be the seed for subsequent success. I will never forget the description given by Iain Dowie for why the football team he managed (Crystal Palace) achieved promotion to the English Premier League in England in 2004 just one year after they lost the play-off final the year before. It was...

October 2022

Collective Leadership Mosaic Image

Understanding Collective Leadership

Understanding Collective Leadership What is Collective Leadership? Leaders working Collectively together The overriding definition of Collective leadership, based on experience and research, is: “ a form of leadership based on shared values for achieving impact in the public interest, rather than individual leadership based on self-interest”       In this article, I explain how we think about and promote collective leadership. Using...

June 2021

A Personal Journey

  "Stephen Brookes briefly describes his early experience of understanding leadership contexts. I often reflect on what I now know was my first experience of leadership challenges in December 1971. As a young (boy) sailor (Morse code operator) in the Persian Gulf, I communicated with a Trucial Oman Scouts operator. I struggled to understand why his morse...

January 2021

A post-pandemic paradigm for public leaders?

What is the future for public leadership? This discussion seeks to explain what public leadership means and explores its challenges for the future. In particular, we will consider this within the context of a potential post-pandemic paradigm, responding to an unprecedented challenge that is taxing public leaders' minds and practices across the globe. The discussion will suggest...

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