Are You an Ambitious or Accidental Leader?

“I’m not an ambitious person. I didn’t set my sights on becoming a Partner,”  replied several interviewees who agreed to participate in our leadership research project. And these leaders aren’t in the minority. Many senior executives find themselves becoming what might be described as an ‘Accidental Leader’ – reaching the higher echelons of thei ...


Leadership – does it matter?

There’s a lot of talk about leadership, and it’s a core part of the work we do with our clients. So, it’s worth asking, does leadership really matter, and what difference does good leadership make compared with poor leadership? We ask these questions in the leadership research project we’re currently undertaking in the finance and professional servi ...


Leadership in the Finance and Professional Services Sectors – We want your input!

We are undertaking a new research programme into the leadership qualities and behaviours needed in the finance & professional services industry in the 21st Century.  At a time of great change in the industry, the expectations of leaders are enormous.  Yet we sense that the thinking on leadership is not well developed across the industry. We believe our research will help stimulate a timely discussion about the nature of leadership.

We are looking to investigate three areas:

  1. What do leaders in the industry see as the necessary traits and behaviours of good leadership? And what are their personal stories?;
  2. Whether those out-with senior leadership hold similar views on the nature of leadership;
  3. Whether there are differences between the practice of leadership in the industry and current theory.

We are looking for input from those in the UK finance and professional services sectors. This includes the accountancy, actuarial, asset management, banking, consulting & legal sectors.

Jane Welsh, who recently joined as an Associate, is working alongside us on the research programme and is taking the lead in the asset management sector.

We will summarise our research findings in a book and series of papers, and will also provide updates at seminars in London & Edinburgh.

If you would like to contribute to the programme, please click on the following link:


We will not disclose any individual’s responses without seeking your permission.  You will also have the option to receive updates on the research programme as it becomes available. Thank you.

Author: Russell Borland


How to be an Effective Leader

In our work we often meet people who don’t view themselves as leaders and yet they are, having perhaps unknowingly transitioned into a leadership role. People often have little choice as to whether or not they become a leader, the decision being largely out of their hands. Who makes the decision? Other people – colleagues, staff, clients and those ...


The Loneliness of Leadership

Research indicates that many leaders experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, even though they are often surrounded by colleagues at work. It can help if the leader feels that colleagues share the same vision and values as they do, as this can create supportive emotional connections. But even then, it is the leader who has ultimate responsi ...


Worried that you might not be a natural born leader?

This paper provides a general overview of leadership and its role in an organisational context. It then introduces a leadership framework constructed by Kouzes & Posner and how you might use it to increase your leadership effectiveness. Management relates to the processes that keep an organisation functioning such as planning, budgeting, definin ...