Issue 39 / July 2010

One of the reasons Malcolm Gladwell the bestselling author of Blink and Tipping Point gave for writing his third book, Outliers,, was the feeling of frustration he found himself having with the way we explain the careers of successful people. He said: ‘You know how you hear someone say of Bill Gates or some rock star “they’re really smart,” or “they’re really ambitious?” Well, I know lots of people who are really smart and really ambitious, and they aren’t worth 60 billion dollars. It struck me that our understanding of success was really crude – and there was an opportunity to dig down and come up with a better set of explanations.’

This issue of JAM is our contribution to this debate. What is the secret of successful leaders? What can be learnt from their stories? And what does leadership mean in practice? In her regular research round-up (page 4), Heather Maitland explores the idea of leadership, whether it’s different from management and whether it can be learned. Mark Wright urges you to take the lead and not to leave the responsibility for leadership to the people with a bigger job title (page 6). On page 8, Tim Wheeler reflects on the day-to-day challenges of leadership, and on page 12 Peter Bellingham shares the lessons he learnt on the way to becoming Welsh National Opera’s first Executive Director.

The white paper produced on page 10 makes the case for different recruitment and management practices, and on page 18 we show you the latest finding of the 2009 Index of Leadership Trust by the institute of Leadership and Management. Helen MacKintosh describes the planning phase of successful change management (page 14), Deb Barnard writes about how we can make the most of our emotional intelligence (page 20), and Alison O’Hara tells us about the three principles that se her on a course to successful leadership (page 16).

And finally, this month’s spotlight is on Avril Scott, and on page 22 we meet Melanie Adams, Director of Marketing Communications and Membership at the Royal Academy of dance.

Any thoughts, comments or suggestions for JAM? Please email the Editor.

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