icon Enlightened Leadership

Good to great


I read ‘Good to Great’ many years ago and immediately started thinking about my own organisation. Then we acted on one of the central themes of the book. That is to identify what, as an organisation, you are really good at and can’t be matched by the competition. Then DO just that. He also warns what you might be really good at is not the same as what you are currently focussed on, so expect change. We invented two nationally famous sub-brands from this idea. I have also read ‘Built to Last’ the pre-cursor to ‘Good to Great’ and the thinking in that volume is currently on my mind (and the CEO’s mind) at one of the worlds most creative companies.

The Art of Possibility


This was a break-through read for me, so thank you to the exceptional Hasan Khair for the pointer, it led to much other reading and research. In the opening section Rosamund Stone Zander writes persuasively that our reality is in fact “all made up” by ourselves. When we understand that this is the case then we can, in a sense, decide our reality. It is an inspirational book that brings together Rosamund Stone Zander’s knowledge of cutting-edge psychology and Benjamin Zander’s experiences as the conductor of Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.

What Leaders Really Do


I met John Kotter at the BBC and witnessed his brilliant talks. He is widely acknowledged as the world’s foremost authority on leadership. Greg Dyke the former DG of the BBC had enlisted John Kotter as part of his cultural change programme. Those of us who took part with Greg, as I did, were sent a generous thank you note and a copy of this book. This is a collection of his acclaimed Harvard Business Review articles. True leadership, he reminds us, is an elusive quality, and too often we confuse management duties and personal style with leadership.

The Puritan Gift


One of the profound learnings that I’ve taken from my work at Saatchi and Saatchi is the Toyota practice of identifying the ‘root cause’ of any issue. This book does this by tracing the origins and characteristics of US managerial culture over three hundred years. It tells the story of the creation of the ‘great engines of economic growth’ in the United States. It argues that the competitiveness and capacity for innovation, which lies at the heart of American business, had their origins in the character and ethos of the Puritan settlers.