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The living leader: Become the leader you want to be

The living leader: Become the leader you want to be

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The living leader: Become the leader you want to be

174 pages
2 heures
Jun 28, 2006


The mark of outstanding leadership is not just about how good a leader you are, but about how many leaders you develop. In The Living Leader leadership guru Penny Ferguson shows that leadership is not a privilege for a chosen few but extends to everyone throughout any organization. It is about realizing the potential of every individual. The Living Leader shows how individuals can discover and develop new attitudes to motivation, communication and leadership. Ferguson shows that leadership is more about understanding than explaining; more about listening than telling; more about encouraging than showing; more about giving than getting; more about being than doing. Great leadership is about the behaviours, attitude, emotions and communication abilities of each individual leader.
Jun 28, 2006

À propos de l'auteur

Penny Ferguson is a leading authority on personal leadership. She has an outstanding and proven track record in helping leaders to bring about profound and sustainable change in their organisations. Her unique approach and perspective have transformed her clients’ potential into extraordinary performance. She is a much sought-after speaker who inspires her audiences with an incisive style that cuts through the aura of mystery that so often surrounds our thinking about leadership.

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The living leader - Penny Ferguson

Anyone who is engaged in culture change in an organisation will benefit from this book. Penny Ferguson has found an inspirational way of reflecting on her own life experiences and combining that with her own brand of good, common sense to create a learning experience for her readers. Strongly recommended.

Professor Brenda Gourley,

Vice Chancellor, The Open University

A 5ft bundle of energy and drive, Penny is nothing like the sterotypical business guru. And what she espouses is not rocket science, but common sense. It works because she goes to the heart of the problem and of the solution—and she brings the journey alive through story telling and personal anecdote …

Pat Lee,

Head of Organisation Development, Argos Retail Group

An explosion of inspiration and powerful insights—Penny provides a refreshing perspective on leadership which stimulates action.

Lesley Cotton,

HR Director, Holmes Place plc

Penny unlocks the skills, gifts and talent within everyone. She is amazing.

David Taylor,

author of the best-selling Naked Leader books

Copyright © The Infinite Ideas Company Limited, 2006

The right of Penny Ferguson to be identified as the author of this book has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

First published in 2006 by

The Infinite Ideas Company Limited

36 St Giles

Oxford, OX1 3LD

United Kingdom


All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of small passages for the purposes of criticism or review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or under the terms of a licence issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4LP, UK, without the permission in writing of the publisher. Requests to the publisher should be addressed to the Permissions Department, Infinite Ideas Limited, 36 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LD, UK, or faxed to +44 (0)1865 514777.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 10: 1-904902-89-8

ISBN 13: 978-1-904902-89-8

Brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Designed and typeset by Sparks, Oxford – www.sparks.co.uk

Printed by TJ International, Cornwall




 1  Integral Performance

 2  Behind the Mask

 3  Accept Responsibility

 4  Leadership is About Me!

 5  Communicate Responsibly

 6  Getting Everyone Involved

 7  Leaders Listen

 8  Questions, Questions and More Questions!

 9  Finding the Right Question

10  Developing the Right People

11  Flipping the Pyramid—Releasing People Potential

12  Demonstrating Value

13  What Style of Leadership?

14  Where am I Heading?

15  Living in the Present

16  Company Culture

17  The Proof of the Pudding


This is a joy for me to do because it enables me to thank publicly some of the many people who have impacted my life—to give them the recognition they deserve. Firstly, Richard Burton—a publisher with courage. From the moment we met, you supported and encouraged me, and helped me find the belief that I can write! Kathryn Kelly, you were wonderful in taking my many words and helping them come together in a way that made my thoughts read more easily. Also, for your help in promoting my work wherever possible, you are a great asset. John Duggan—you have read and reread all of this book with such care and attention and it has come alive as a result of your outstanding editing. Thank you so much.

There are always the personal development ‘gurus’ that I meet who are on a similar path and I take something new to heart every time I hear them. David Taylor—I have enjoyed getting to know you and working with you more than you can imagine, you are a lovely man. Ian Jessup—you are truly amazing. You have impacted my life so positively and raised my awareness of communication to new heights. I thank you so very much.

Once again, my clients inspire me and take me to new levels of learning; sometimes I wonder if they know how much they stretch me! I feel privileged to work with so many wonderful people. Amongst this amazing group there are some that I would especially like to thank. Brenda Gourley—your courage to take on some of the daunting challenges that you do and still come through committed, determined and smiling is inspirational. Chris Weston and Jill Shedden—you are both such wonderful examples of how great the difference can be when you lead in this way; your passion and caring for people shines through in all that you do. The results you achieved in BGB speak for themselves—thank you for taking the time to write about it for me. Kevin Leith—thank you for taking the time and effort to add to this book—I feel lucky to have worked with you and now have you as a friend. Ian Lambert—you are a lovely man and your support over the years has meant so much. Ewan McCulloch, you are simply amazing and I believe that you embody all that I talk about—working with you is a sheer delight. Steve Back—what would I do without you in my life? I hope I never have to find out. Monique Cheung—you never give in! You want to live and breathe these concepts wherever you are. Lesley Cotton—I may have met you only recently but you are just a joy and your friendship is special to me. Pat Lee—thank you for your belief in me and for your incredible determination to do the best for each individual in every part of you life. You epitomise a giving, caring and inspirational leader.

For my friends and colleagues I hardly know where to begin and couldn't possibly name you all—I feel inspired, uplifted and so very supported by you all. A big thank you to everyone in the office who does their best to manage me—a trying task! So, too, all our wonderful associates who deliver programmes with such passion and courage! Rob Gee—you have been a tower of strength to the business and the most caring friend I could wish for. Your wife Denise is pretty special too! Karen Murphy—I hope you know how much it means to me to have you working so closely with the company now, and even more so to have you as a dearly loved friend. It is especially good to see you so happy and successful. Kirsten Campbell—you give so much of your life, your friendship and your love and it is reciprocated and valued more than you can imagine. Sally Pattison—as a client you challenged me to deliver the best and as a friend and colleague you inspire and support me. Thank you too for such a valuable and special contribution to this book. Michael O’Byrne—thank you for your effort in writing up what happened when you were Chief; I am so very delighted that we remain friends. Ray Powell—you are just gorgeous! Hugh Evans—I am pleased and honoured that you have joined our team. Your passion, dedication and particular flair are such amazing assets and I feel very lucky to have such a special person to run the business. I know you will take us all to new heights. Tasha Bermingham—you have known me, worked with me, been a friend for many, many years. My life is the richer for having you in it. Les—it's good to have you around still—you will always be special.

A big ‘thank you’ to my children James, Philip, Richard, Lucy, Emma and Mark. You all in your different ways have given and continue to give me the greatest leadership challenges and so that means that you are also my most powerful teachers. You give me so much love and care in many different ways. I am proud to be your mother and love you all so very much. Emms darling—just keep winning! I am highly delighted that you are now bringing me some wonderful grandchildren who are a complete delight and add a wonderful new dimension to my life. Lucy—you will be a very special mother. I am also so very pleased to have Hugh, Nick and Emma come into my life—you are most supportive of your ‘mother-in-law’ and I thank you so much for bringing the happiness that you do to my children.

And finally I dedicate this book to two amazing and wonderful people. Sherilyn Shackell—you came into my life at a fortuitous time. You inspire me, challenge me to bring out the best in myself, listen to me when I need an ear, encourage me when I am worried, push me to think differently and care for me always. You are a wonderful lady, a special friend and one of the best things that has happened to me. Christine Mansfield—there are not enough words to describe how supportive you have been to me over the many years since we met. You so often rearrange your life to help me when I need it, you are an incredibly valuable asset to the business, you stretch yourself in so many different ways when I need your help, you lift me when I am down and laugh with me in the good times. Your friendship and caring mean so very much to me and you are one of the most thoughtful, giving and caring people that I have ever been lucky enough to have come into my life.

To both of you—this book only came into existence because of your encouragement, help and guidance. You are both inspirational leaders and I love and admire you so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creative.

Charles Mingus

My understanding of leadership has changed considerably over the last few years. This has come about both through personal experiences and from working with many amazing individuals and organisations. Until about 12 years ago I believed leadership was about developing the necessary skills and continually acquiring more knowledge around the various theories on the subject. Learning these skills and putting them into practice—however difficult this might be—would ensure success.

Since then, my whole thinking has changed. Learning skills in isolation just doesn't work, and anyway leadership is not primarily about what you do, it is about who you are and who you choose to be. Leadership is more ‘being’ than ‘doing’; more simplicity than complexity.

I discovered this over a period of time. It began when I was working in business with another consultant, who used to run many senior management development programmes. He was an excellent trainer, and I believed at the time that he was one of the best. However, I became concerned when I realised that even though people left the programme saying how brilliant it had been there was a problem. Despite all the words, the reality was that actual changes in behaviour in the workplace were probably less than 20% of what those attending the programmes

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