The British Council: Economics, Finance and Management

Leadership Development in the UK

Prepared for the British Council
by The Centre for Leadership Studies University of Exeter April 1998



Good leadership - and leadership for the good of people and organisations - is vitally important in the world today. Change throws up the need for leaders, and leaders bring about change. Change is universal. So is the need for effective leaders.

Such leaders are not needed just in one sector of society - such as politics or the military - but across the whole of society. Nor does any society need just a few leaders at the top. The requirements is for effective leadership at every level - team leaders as well as strategic leaders.

In the past most societies have relied upon nature to provide them with their leaders. But there are not enough born leaders to meet the world's needs. The good news, however, is that leadership can be developed. It is a field in which Britain has shown the way.

The aim of this booklet is to provide you with a concise overview of the United Kingdom's approach to developing leaders for today - and tomorrow.

There are three kinds of benefit that you may take away with you.

Whatever the path you choose for putting this booklet to work, there is wider experience in the United Kingdom that you can draw upon to your benefit. As we move towards a more global understanding of leadership, we can and should be helping each other in leadership development. May you find in these pages not only knowledge and information, but also encouragement and inspiration.

There are two more introductory pieces after this one. The first seeks to clarify what we mean by leadership. The second is an overview of the distinctive British contribution. Leadership development in the educational context is mentioned briefly for it is early days in this major British initiative which covers schools and universities, including preparing aspiring head teachers for educational leadership.

Some notes and a brief case study of what one British industry is doing to grow and develop its business through a new approach to leadership, is found in the fourth section. Later there is a section 'Leadership Programmes and Courses' which lists some of the innovative British programmes in this field, followed by a selection of key British Books on Leadership Development.

Forward to What is leadership?







Produced in Britain by the British Council
© The British Council 1998

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