Unlock Your Leadership Potential

Empower Your Financial Services Leadership with Leading Relationships. Calling All Financial Services Senior Leaders . . . Are you ready to elevate your influence, master the art of relationship building, and become a beacon of leadership within your organisation? Leading Relationships is your gateway to becoming an exceptional leader who inspires, connects, and leads with […]

Leading Figures Women’s Network: Event 16/1/24

We’re delighted to let you know that the Leading Figures Women’s Network third event will be on Tuesday 16 January at 4pm UT/11am ET, at which Marjorie Ngwenya, one of the Leading Figures Associate Coaches, will speak about her fantastic career achievements:  Serendipity and Surrender: My Journey to Date Join us for a conversation with Marjorie […]

Leading Figures Women’s Network: September 2023 Session

Following the overwhelmingly positive response to our first Leading Figures Women’s Network (LFWN) event in June, we’re delighted to confirm that our second event will be on Tuesday 12 September at 4pm BST/11am EST, at which Melissa Hill, co-founder of the LFWN and former CEO of Sabre Fund Management, will be sharing her experience of […]


TUESDAY 6 JUNE 2023 AT 4 PM BST, 11 AM ET Following your excellent response to our survey, we are delighted to let you know that we will be going live with the first of our quarterly online events on 6 June 2023. Please register here and forward this email to any colleagues who might be […]

Leading through a World of Uncertainty

Leading through uncertainty can be challenging, but it’s a critical skill for any successful leader. In a discussion with Bill McCall, Dean Aloise, and Marjorie Ngwenya, the panellists shared their perspectives on how to lead through uncertainty.  A link to the recording of the discussion can be found at the end of this summary. Clear […]

Introducing: The Leading Figures Women’s Network

We are pleased to announce that Leading Figures will be starting a new online group for women and those who would like to do more to support women at work – The Leading Figures Women’s Network. It is proposed that the first event will take place on Tuesday 6th June, so please mark your calendar […]

Reflections on Confidence

Thomas Chalmers Where does confidence come from? And why can we be competent and confident yet still feel anxious? How can we call on confidence when we need it and simultaneously calm our nerves?   Most of us have observed those who exude confidence but are short on competence. They blag their way through tasks […]

Why Leaders Need to Cut Themselves Some Slack (and How to Do It)

By Ben Colvin, US Partner Coach, New York Raise your hand if you have a case of crisis fatigue. Let’s face it, who doesn’t? The pandemic. Global conflicts. Economic uncertainties. Mass layoffs. And that’s only a few of the headline-grabbing crises we’ve faced over the past few years.   Human beings are set up to […]

‘Follow the Leader’ by guest author, Bill McCall

The only constant is change, apparently, and if you’ve been following the business world of your own sector and been around for more than a few years you will attest to this sentiment. However, some things remain, that leaders have to lead and galvanise people in the drive for a common purpose or goal. A […]

5 Actions to Supercharge your Career in 2023

Russell Borland As coaches we have worked with hundreds of aspiring and accomplished leaders.  Based on this experience, we have identified 5 actions you should do to supercharge your career this year: 1 Take Personal Responsibility for your Career Don’t wait to be asked to stretch yourself with new opportunities, to take on a higher […]

Are You Leading Yourself Effectively?

Leadership is most often discussed and written about in terms of how we lead others. But leadership starts with how we lead ourselves and this raises the question: How can we hope to lead others if we are unable to lead ourselves? The list of ways in which we can lead ourselves is almost endless. […]

How to get Women to the Top of their Career Ladder

As we all know from widely reported data, women are underrepresented at senior levels in organisations, especially in the Executive Suite. This is despite McKinsey and Co finding in their 2020 report on ‘Why Inclusion Matters’ that companies in the top 25% for gender diversity in their executive team were 25% more likely to outperform […]

Research Paper: Learning to Lead

We are pleased to provide a link to our paper titled ‘Learning to Lead’, based on research we have undertaken over the last 18 months which included questionnaires and in depth 1:1 interviews with established leaders in the finance and professional services sectors. The paper covers the following areas: Overview including the significance of emotions […]

Developing Culture Webinar Recording 15th December 2020

As part of the Learn 2 Leap programme for the Scottish Actuarial Community we faciltiated a webinar on 15th December 2020 where we explored what culture is, its inextricable link to leadership and the challenges and solutions to creating a culture that supports organisational performance. Our panel was made of of the following experienced leaders:

Developing & Extending Your Influence: Webinar Recording 16th March 2021

As part of the Learn 2 Leap programme for the Scottish Actuaral Community, we facilitated a conversation with three leaders on the role that Influencing has played in their careers, and explored the key building blocks of effective influencing. Our panel were:

What makes an Inclusive Leader? Lessons from leading during COVID-19: Webinar Recording 17th March 2021

Below is a recording of this webinar where we discuss inclusive leadership and the lessons learned from leading during COVID-19:

Creating & Leading a High Performing Team

By Russell Borland and Thomas Chalmers A version of this article first appeared in the book ‘Legal leadership: a handbook for future success’ published by the Ark Group in 2018. What do we mean by a High Performing Team? One way of providing a structure in differentiating between a group, team and high performing team is […]

Developing Strategic Leadership to Navigate VUCA: Recording of Webinar 26/11/20

Follow the link below to a recording of the above webinar where we discussed how leaders navigate volatile times in pursuing their organisation’s strategy:

Leading with Imposter Syndrome – Q&A from webinar on 10th September 2020, written up by Jane Welsh

These are questions from attendees who joined our ‘Leading with Imposter Syndrome’ webinar on 10th September; compiled and answered by Jane Welsh, Associate with Leading Figures and Consultant with The Diversity Project. What is Imposter Syndrome and who is affected? It would be really interesting to know roughly what the split of men/women is on […]

Leading with Imposter Syndrome (webinar recording)

Another great session on 10th September 2020 with Marjorie Ngwenya, Executive Coach, author and Non-Executive Director, Luba Nikulina of Willis Towers Watson, and David Piltz of Buck, discussing and sharing their insights on Leading with Imposter Syndrome. All successful in their own right, the panellists were completely transparent about their personal experiences; how and when […]

Imposter Syndrome by Jane Welsh

Background At the Leading Figures webinar held on 9 June on the topic of developing as a leader, the issue of imposter syndrome arose.  It seemed as though many in the audience were surprised that apparently successful and confident leaders would ever suffer from imposter syndrome.  Others attendees shared that they had experienced this feeling […]

Developing as a Leader: Reading, Reflecting or Role Models: Summary of Webinar Discussion

As part of our research into leadership in the finance and professional services sectors, we invited four established leaders to be panellists in our webinar titled ‘Developing as a Leader: Reading, Reflecting or Role Models’ in June 2020. The session was faciliated by our Associate Jane Welsh, with the following panellists contributing: One delegate summarised […]

Developing as a Leader: Reading, Reflecting or Role Models?

Great session on 9th June 2020 with Deb Clarke of Mercer, Joanna Munro of HSBC Global Asset Management, Mitesh Sheth of Redington & Stephen Gibb of Shepherd & Wedderburn discussing aspects of their leadership journeys, with the conversation facilitated by our Associate Jane Welsh. The panel were open about their personal challenges as leaders, as […]

Leading from a Distance

Leading from a distance has been challenging for many over these last few days and may become even more difficult and problematic in the weeks and months to come. Life is fragile and work is volatile if not uncertain. Emotions are running high. As one might expect, the Change Curve is almost a mirror image […]

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 their organisation by […]

Do leaders need to exhibit confidence to succeed? And what is the role of vulnerability? By Jane Welsh

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s book ‘Why do so many incompetent men become leaders?’ suggests that we assume a correlation between confidence and competence that doesn’t exist. As a result, confident (and even over-confident) people end up in leadership roles. Hardwiring from our early roots dealing with ever present danger and the fight for survival may not be […]

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 […]

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. […]

Leading Figures contributes a chapter to: Legal leadership: a handbook for future success

As a result of our participation in the Law Society of Scotland’s 2018 Annual Conference we were invited to contribute chapter 6 (entitled: Leading a High Performing Legal Team) to a book published by the Ark Group. For more details please click on the ‘Read More’ button below and then follow this link: https://www.ark-group.com/product/legal-leadership-handbook-future-success-0#.W_V6M-KYQdV Author: Thomas […]

Navigating Burnout

It is just over 10 years ago when I suffered from ‘burnout’.  I was open about this with my work colleagues at the time but given that my network of contacts has grown further since then, and I’ve just passed a major milestone, I thought it was an appropriate time to share my experience with […]

The Role of Communication in Change

We all know that communication plays a vital role in effecting change. But why is this? Research undertaken in the USA (Wilson & Gilbert 2005) provides some insight. People are generally competent at telling whether a future event will be pleasant or unpleasant. But how accurate are we in predicting how happy or unhappy we […]

Guess which of his products Steve Jobs was most proud?

In the final days of Steve Jobs’ life, his biographer, Walter Isaacson seemingly visited him and asked what product he was most proud of. ‘Was it the early Mac?’ enquired Isaacson, ‘or perhaps the iPod, iPad or iPhone?’ If you don’t already know then Jobs’ reply may surprise you. He said that he was ‘most proud of his team […]

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, […]

Russell and Thomas discuss a Growth Mindset in the context of the ICAS Leadership Coaching Programmes

In this short video we talk about the importance of adopting a Growth Mindset and explain how the ICAS Leadership Programmes can promote innovative thinking and accelerate the career growth of CAs and high performing leaders. You can find out more about the ICAS Leadership Coaching Programmes using the following link: Enquiry-Form-for-the-Leading-Figures-Leadership-Programme-for-ICAS

Taking the Step up to Partner

Nothing beats learning from those who have succeeded…. and in order to obtain an industry-wide perspective we have interviewed over fifty Partners and other senior individuals within the accounting, actuarial, consulting and legal sectors, a number of whom we have worked with as coaches. One of the questions posed was “what advice would you give […]

Developing Awareness, a foundation for Personal Development

In working with our clients we encourage them to consider the three key foundations of personal development – Attitude, Awareness, Aptitude & Action (which we call the Triple A+ Model). To maximise development one needs to focus on all three components and how they interlink. In this short article we focus on developing Awareness, by […]

Developing a Behavioural Edge in the Information Age

Knowledge is no longer power, because knowledge is everywhere – or at least knowledge is accessible everywhere. We live in a world where information is at our fingertips. All we need do is Google a question on our gizmos to find the answer. Or perhaps YouTube it to see how we should do it. Or […]

Afraid that you might be a fraud?

Imagine one of these scenarios: you’ve recently returned to work after a career break and feel a little unsure about yourself or; you’ve recently been promoted to the lofty heights of an executive position and you’re trying to find your feet or; much to your surprise, you’ve secured a senior role in an entirely new […]

Three ways to turn your group into a Team

Most businesses stress the importance of team working. There is a logic behind this. Projects often require a minimum level of ‘critical mass’ and no one person has all the skills that the business (and their customers) may need; indeed there is increasing evidence to suggest that a talented team with a diversity of cognitive […]

How smaller fund managers can develop a competitive edge

All fund management houses seeking to grow their business face the challenge of growing in an increasingly competitive market. In the late 1980s UK names such as Mercury Asset Management, Morgan Grenfell and Phillips & Drew managed a significant proportion of UK fund assets – few will recognise such names now. Nowadays US and European […]

The Primary Reason for Career Derailment amongst Top Executives…

According to the Centre for Creative Leadership the primary reason for career derailment amongst top executives is lack of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Decades of research has also revealed that EI is the reason why people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Moreover, studies of 500 organisations worldwide have […]

Wondering why you aren’t being promoted?

If you aspire to reach the top of your organisation i.e. secure a board position or go beyond – but are questioning why your career path has reached a plateau – our research shows that the answer may lie in your leadership skills (or lack of them). Your ability to engage people should not be […]

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 […]

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, defining roles, resourcing and […]

Know Your Limits

When as I was younger I enjoyed building things. Lego was a favourite, with the aim of building the longest bridge or the tallest skyscraper (the latter in their final stages would require a chair and inevitably wobble with the slightest touch). Likewise in my business life I also find I enjoy building and seeing […]

Growth Mindset – what it is and how it can help your career

Why does a Growth Mindset that thrives on challenge achieve more than a Fixed Mindset that strives for success? According to Professor Carol Dweck, from Stanford University, the answer lies in the focus of each of each of the differing mindsets. The Fixed Mindset wants to prove it is smart, while the Growth Mindset wants to get even smarter. […]

The Secret to Busking for Business (and Winning Clients)

A couple of weeks ago the temperature in London hit 24 degrees. Going from one client meeting to the next I walked past St Paul’s Cathedral then over the Millennium Footbridge, soaking up the heat in the air as I headed for the Tate Modern. And then I heard him, faintly at first but eventually […]

Leading Your Career

Extract from Glasgow Actuarial Student Society Seminar The Triple A model is a simple tool to help you develop your career to its fullest potential. We have tailored the context and examples to student actuaries at the early stages of their career; however, the principles of the model are applicable at every stage… and it […]

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