The leadership challenge

Our cover story puts an unsettling question to anyone who has climbed the ladder to a leadership position in a big organization. Have the qualities that helped you to get to the top made you unable to cope with an increasingly unsettled world?

The World Today Published 27 May 2016 Updated 30 September 2020 1 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

The authors, Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon, have interviewed 60 leaders from a variety of sectors – corporate, government, and NGO – to find out how they are coping with a world where unimaginable events come thick and fast. One of their conclusions is that conformity – a good quality for career progression – destroys vision. If they are to survive, leaders are going to have to surround themselves with a much more diverse set of advisers, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and training.

Former ambassador Tom Fletcher is a techno-optimist, believing that diplomacy can thrive in the age of the smartphone. As the leader of an internal review into how the British Foreign Office should focus its resources, he offers some insights into the future of the diplomatic trade.

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