1. Which leadership books are you reading at the moment?
I tend to return to the books that have helped me most or given me the most to think about. So two books I would mention in this context are “Why should anyone be led by you?” by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, and “Act like a leader, think like a leader” by Herminia Ibarra. All Ron Heifetz’s work on “Adaptive leadership” is worth another look too.
2. What’s the best bit about your job?
The variety! Journalists are lucky in that the whole world is potentially our subject matter. There is just this tricky question of getting paid to write about it..!
3. What do leaders get wrong when they are the boss?
Bosses sometimes forget how much they are scrutinised, watched. Their behaviour really matters. Who do they promote and reward, what do they tolerate (or not), what do they encourage? This is all very important. Leaders set the tone and the pace.
4. What type of leaders do we need now?
We need rounded, thoughtful, courageous, imaginative leaders. Not egomaniacs. Not self-publicists People who want others to succeed. Leadership is ultimately about them, not you.
5. How can leaders get out of their own way?
Don’t pretend to know all the answers (your job is rather to ask good questions). Don’t be afraid to delegate to good people. Let people know that they are trusted to get on with their work, to experiment and occasionally get things wrong. Let your managers manage!
Stefan Stern has been writing about management and leadership for more than two decades. He has worked for the BBC, Management Today magazine, and the Financial Times, where he was the management columnist between 2006 and 2010. He continues to write for the FT, the Guardian, and other publications. He is Visiting Professor in management practice at Cass Business School, City, University of London.
Stefan’s books are available on Amazon
You can follow him on Twitter – @stefanstern or find him on LinkedIn.