Dull at the Top?

For some time, The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers have done profiles of business leaders asking some standard questions – covering topics like who helped mentor or influence them, whether money motivates them, what leadership means to them and so on.

Interestingly, further back, a standard question was what management/leadership books inspired them. Most answered that they never read such books. This was so much the case that eventually the question itself was dropped.

In profiles where these leaders are asked to name a favourite author – the choice is usually fairly dire, with hardly inspirational authors/heroes/heroines being selected to represent their poor taste. (I might add that the same goes for their choice of film and music too).

What a dull lot our business leaders invariably are! What does this aspect tell us about them as individuals and as leaders?

Actually, the real questions to be asked of them are:

  • if you do not read management/leadership books – why not?
  • why are you not constantly seeking new ideas and inspiration in books, newspapers, magazines, conferences, films and television

Published on Feb 01, 2010 by Neil Thomas