Same as immediately above, except it’s a much less expensive breakfast. The days of putting on a brave face and pretending you’re an experienced leader when you are green are long gone; you won’t fool any of today’s employees. People today, especially younger people, are looking for transparency and authenticity, so be real with them from the get-go.

We are living in the Renaissance of Work. Just like great artists know that an empty canvas can become anything, great leaders know that an entire organization — and the people inside it — can become anything, too.

Master Artists and Mastering the Art of Leadership draw from the same source: creation.

In this series, we’ll meet masters who are creating the future of work and painting a portrait of lasting leadership. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Roger Joel Gewolb.

Dr Roger Joel Gewolb is a Business, Finance, Political & Cultural Trends Commentator. His is a former Adjunct Professor of International Finance, Banking and Business Law.

Roger is a broadcaster and financial services entrepreneur and a personal finance & credit expert. He is the CEO of — a provider of unique comparison, Machine Intelligence, Proactive Monitoring and other FinTech and FinServ products and services, and the founder of the non-profit Campaign for Fair Finance™.

Thank you for joining us. Our readers would enjoy discovering something interesting about you. What are you in the middle of right now that you’re excited about personally or professionally?

Thank you so much for reaching out and asking. I am involved in several exciting undertakings at present.

Firstly, I am spending more and more time in the media, particularly television, explaining why our UK Government and Opposition are leading us in the wrong directions in so many ways.

They are detached from and have lost touch with the British public as it exists today. They are perhaps too isolated in the Westminster Bubble to identify with the lives of ordinary Britons, and I am hoping to help them see this by repeatedly exposing it in my television and radio broadcasts and appearances in print and digital media.

In particular, through our Campaign for Fair Finance, we are attempting, through our media presence, to influence the Government to roll back unnecessary interest rate rises and to decouple the exaggerated price of electricity from inflated gas prices. These two moves on their own would relieve British households of thousands of pounds of unnecessary expenditure immediately, especially valuable during this cost of living crisis, which-largely through the Government’s actions and the Opposition’s failure to propose any reasonable solutions-has reached epidemic proportions.

Secondly, I am helping to guide the launch of a revolutionary new financial services product, which will go a long way to eliminate all the confusion in the financial services markets amongst the plethora of different products and provide one unified offering that is transparent, fair, easy to understand and totally user friendly.

Lastly, I am involved with my team in high-level advisory work for some very exciting companies to help them scale and some other excellent businesses, to help them survive and get out of difficulties in these troubled times.

We all get by with a little help from our friends. Who is the leader that has influenced you the most, and how?

When I was at uni graduate school, one of my professors gave me a mediocre grade at the end of his course. When I asked him why, he told me that, as a more mature student-I was at least five years older than the others-I should’ve produced a more mature set of final exam papers.

I explained that I was actually three years younger than everyone else in our class. He was nonplussed, thought for a minute, and then explained to me that I was what he called a “happenee”. He meant that throughout my life, I would find myself in situations that I had not created or expected and didn’t necessarily welcome, and I should be prepared to regard them positively as challenges to be overcome and turned into victories above and beyond the norm.

He then gave me the top mark, and that experience has sort of stayed with me, and I guess, at least subconsciously, informed much of what I do.

Sometimes our biggest mistakes lead to our biggest discoveries. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a leader, and what did you discover as a result?

Once, one of my managers made a huge mistake and let me down for the third time. My then-number two said that enough was enough, and I had to let him go, even though I still believed in him. I listened to my manager and fired the gentleman, who went on to become an extraordinary captain of industry and someone who I would wish offered me a job. Trust your gut. We keep learning this over and over, don’t we?

How has your definition of leadership changed or evolved over time? What does it mean to be a leader now?

I believe being a leader has always meant being an inspiration to others as much as you can, especially those whom you are privileged to lead.

I don’t feel this has changed much over the years. Because it is all about people, this is a very important constant.

If anything has changed, however, it is the focus on what many are calling woke issues and the work-life balance, and all the other popular narratives which are encroaching on the traditional values of what one has to put into a job.

I think it begins with those employers who pushed too far and demanded of employees beyond what was reasonable, and we now see the backlash.

But, again, it all comes down to that basic principle of being an inspiration. Don’t ask others to do what you wouldn’t do yourself, have respect, and demand what is required when it is reasonably required, even if you are unpopular. You will be respected for it.

Success is as often as much about what we stop as what we start. What is one legacy leadership behaviour you stopped because you discovered it was no longer valuable or relevant?

I must say, this is quite an excellent question and a very important point indeed. This is because I find that younger people are so much brighter and more talented today. They are also, in the main, perhaps somewhat less ambitious and driven. This is understandable because of the world we now live in, where many young people will not live as well as their parents did, and they find satisfaction in other things than just job satisfaction. It’s completely understandable.

For this combination of reasons, what I have changed about leadership is that I mentor and explain rather less and let these incredibly bright people, who control their time a lot more than employment used to, work things out for themselves. They are such quick learners and so creative in their ideas of disruption that it benefits everyone to do this.

What is one lasting leadership behavior you started or are cultivating because you believe it is valuable or relevant?

As above, I try to place associates and employees in a position where they have all the tools and let them figure it out for themselves now rather than take people step-by-step through a process, as I used to do. I am often staggered by what they come up with, sometimes much better than the way we have been doing it.

What advice would you offer to other leaders who are stuck in past playbooks and patterns and may be having a hard time letting go of what made them successful in the past?

Easy. Pick the finest restaurant in town you can afford and take your people out for an incredible meal and pay for it yourself; don’t put it on the company. At the end of dinner, ask them all to tell you, specifically, in a list, with details and examples, and prioritise exactly what you need to change and do differently. End of process. Watch the results.

Many of our readers can relate to the challenge of leading people for the first time. What advice would you offer to new and emerging leaders?

Same as immediately above, except it’s a much less expensive breakfast. The days of putting on a brave face and pretending you’re an experienced leader when you are green are long gone; you won’t fool any of today’s employees. People today, especially younger people, are looking for transparency and authenticity, so be real with them from the get-go.

Based on your experience or research, what are the top five traits effective leaders exemplify now?

1. Authenticity


2. Compassion

Dalai Lama

3. Dignity

Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

4. Toughness


5. Intelligence

Elon Musk

American Basketball Coach John Wooden said, “Make each day your masterpiece.” How do you embody that quote? We welcome a story or example.

It’s the finishing touches that always differentiate a masterpiece from an ordinary, pedestrian work. I once saw it explained in a sign above the desk of a realtor in a tiny office in Sedona, Arizona. The sign read, “Always go the last mile; it ain’t crowded.”

What is the legacy you aspire to leave as a leader?

As many healthy, happy, successful people as possible who remember from time to time something I taught them or helped them to achieve.

How can our readers connect with you to continue the conversation?









Thank you for giving us the opportunity to experience a leadership master at work. We wish you continued success and good health!